Children's Hospital First in Region to Implant Heart Valve Without Surgery

Jun 17, 2010, 09:47 ET from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Signaling a new frontier in the treatment of congenital heart disease (CHD), The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is the first hospital in our region to implant transcatheter pulmonary heart valves in children with heart defects. This minimally invasive procedure gives patients a non-surgical option in their ongoing treatment.

The Melody® Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve benefits patients with congenital heart defects who have a previously placed surgical conduit between their right ventricle and pulmonary artery. It is needed when the valve function fails.

"There has been a long-standing need to identify a non-surgical option for patients with failed right ventricle to pulmonary artery conduits," said Jonathan Rome, M.D., director of cardiac catheterization at Children's Hospital. "These patients require several surgical interventions during their lifetime and the new procedure allows them to delay open-heart surgery for several years."

Delivered through a catheter requiring only a small incision, the valve will benefit children who are born with a malformation of their pulmonary valve, the valve between the heart and lungs. The majority of these children receive an RV to PA conduit early in their life (often within the first month of life). As patients outgrow their initial conduit, replacement is necessary.

These patients often require open-heart surgery to restore effective blood flow to their lungs. Previously, the only way to repair or replace a failed pulmonary valve conduit was through traditional valve replacement surgery, involving opening the chest and stopping the heart.

School-aged children, adolescents, and adults are the candidates for this procedure. A normal hospital stay is about one to two days after the procedure and children are able to resume normal activities within a week.

The Cardiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is a world leader in reconstructive heart surgery, heart catheterization, specialized anesthesia and nursing for children and young adults with heart disease. As one of the largest and most comprehensive programs in the nation, Children's Hospital's pediatric cardiologists provide a complete range of services to more than 24,000 outpatients each year in eight locations in Philadelphia and the region. For more information about the Cardiac Center at CHOP, please visit

About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking third in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 460-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Care Network has nearly 50 locations in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, offering top-ranked primary and specialty care services in convenient community-based locations. Visit for more information about specific services at each location.

CONTACT: Joey McCool Ryan, (267) 426-6070,

SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia