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Non-Surgical (Percutaneous) Valve Implantation for Congenital Heart Disease

Percutaneous Pulmonary Valve Implantation (PPVI)

Every year, some 200,000 people in the U.S. need a new heart (or pulmonary) valve. About 1000 percutaneous pulmonary valve implants are performed on an annual basis in the U.S. Percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation offers patients, young and old, a revolutionary alternative to open heart surgery. The procedure allows access to the aortic valve percutaneously (through the skin).

Here in the Gulf South, Ochsner is the only hospital with a comprehensive PPVI program. We have all of the FDA-approved valves at our disposal, including the Melody® Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve and the Edwards SAPIEN Valve

First Means “Most Experienced”

Ochsner physicians performed the first non-surgical heart valve replacement in the region. Since the inception of our valve program, we have performed nearly 1000 implants including pulmonary, aortic, tricuspid and mitral valves – far more than any other team in the Gulf South. We are one of the select few centers in the world that can replace valves in all positions. What’s more, we have one of the shortest lengths of stays in the nation for valve implant patients, allowing patients to return home sooner.

Non-Surgical Valve Implantation offers:

  • A non-surgical and less invasive alternative to open-heart surgery for a congenital heart defect
  • Shorter hospital stays with quicker discharge times
  • Decreased number of operations for patients
  • Improved quality of life 

The Melody Valve

The Melody® Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve was the first FDA-approved device of its kind, and Ochsner was the first hospital in Louisiana to offer this cutting-edge procedure. When you choose Ochsner, you have experience on your side.

The Melody valve is a tissue valve within a wire stent. The procedure replaces the pulmonary valve so blood moves easily from the heart to the lungs, without leaking back into the heart. The valve is placed using a catheter that is guided into the heart from a vein in the leg or neck. Patients are typically able to get back to their regular routine in just a couple of days.

The Edwards SAPIEN Valve

In 2009, Ochsner Medical Center was the only hospital in the Gulf South selected to participate in a clinical trial evaluating the Edwards SAPIEN valve. This procedure offers a new lease on life for patients with severe narrowing of the heart valve. The Edwards SAPIEN valve is now approved for use in the pulmonary position and is available at Ochsner.

A catheter carrying a tissue valve built into a metal stent is threaded up the artery from the leg to the aortic valve, where it positions the new valve within the damaged one. This procedure is performed in a state-of-the-art catheterization (cath) lab on a beating heart, without the need for a bypass machine, which can pose additional risks.

Referring Physicians

To refer a patient, call 504-842-5200.