UW Health offers Sapien, Melody and Harmony valve therapy as an alternatives to open-heart surgery to treat patients with severe pulmonary valve regurgitation (blood leaking backward into the right lower chamber of the heart) that can often result from a congenital heart defect.
These transcatheter pulmonary valves are implanted during a 2-4-hour procedure. A thin, hollow tube (catheter) with a collapsed valve on the end is inserted through a vein in the groin or in the neck and into the right side of the heart. Once the valve is in position, it is released from the catheter and expands to function in place. These valves open and close to push blood to flow in the correct direction.
Compared to open-heart surgery, benefits of the transcatheter valve therapies include: a shorter length of stay in the hospital (usually just overnight) and greatly reduced healing time. Most patients are back to normal activities within a week rather than 6-8 weeks for surgery. An additional advantage of the Harmony valve is that it can also host another valve inside of it, should additional therapy be needed later in life.
If you have pulmonary regurgitation and would like to learn more, schedule a consultation with our congenital heart disease specialists.