Children's Hospital Colorado
Heart institute
Heart institute

Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve (TPV) Program

Leading the way in less invasive treatment

The Heart Institute at Children's Hospital Colorado is a leader in the use of minimally invasive cardiac catheters to treat heart problems in kids. Our Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Program is a breakthrough alternative to open heart surgery that can improve life for children with several types of congenital heart defects (those present at birth). 

We offer valve replacement without open-heart surgery

Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve therapy is an alternative to surgery for kids and adults who have a failing, surgically placed pulmonary valve. The Melody® and Sapien XT valves fix the valve function without open-heart surgery. They can also lengthen the amount of time until a patient needs additional open-heart surgery, with the goal of prolonging the surgery as long as possible. 

The transcatheter pulmonary valve may not replace open-heart surgery as a treatment, but it can help delay the need for surgery and improve quality of life.

Watch a video about what to expect during your child's catheterization. 

Why choose Children's Colorado for your child's valve replacement?

We are the only pediatric hospital in Colorado and one of only a few in the country to offer Melody and Sapien XT valves. This means that we perform heart valve replacement without surgery for children and young adults who require a new pulmonary valve.

See why our outcomes make us one of the top heart hospitals

How does the Melody® Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve work?

The Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve (also known as a “Melody valve”) is a replacement pulmonary heart valve. It’s used to replace a blocked or leaky valve that has been previously repaired to correct congenital heart defects present at birth.

At Children’s Colorado, we have performed more than 100 valve replacements using the FDA-approved Melody valve. We’re now able to treat even more patients and avoid surgery with the FDA-approved Sapien XT valve.

How does the Sapien XT valve work?

The Sapien XT Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve is implanted with a type of cardiac catheterization technique that goes through the skin (known as percutaneous).

The Sapien XT valve makes it possible for us to perform heart catheter procedure in many patients who were unsuitable for treatment using the Melody valve. Because of the larger size of the Sapien XT valve, a second transcatheter procedure can be used to implant another valve within the existing one if your child needs a replacement in the future thereby avoiding open heart surgery for an extended period.

What should I expect from the Sapien XT catheterization?

This is a non-surgical method of replacing the pulmonary valve, which is performed through a small (1/4 inch) incision in the groin or neck. While your child is fully asleep under general anesthesia, an unexpanded valve is mounted on a balloon catheter and moved through the heart using x-ray to guide it to the appropriate position. The balloon catheter is inflated to expand the valve. The valve remains in position and the balloon catheter is removed.

The procedure takes 3-4 hours, and your child will spend one night in the hospital. Kids can go back to school as soon as three days after the procedure, and adults can resume work or normal activity in three days. Sporting activities are restricted for six weeks after the procedure.

What conditions can be treated with pulmonary valve replacement?

The most common congenital heart defects affecting the pulmonary valve include:

Learn more about cardiac catheterization at our Heart Institute.

Pediatric heart valve replacement without open-heart surgery

Transcatheter pulmonary valve therapy is an alternative to open heart surgery for kids and adults who have a failing, surgically placed pulmonary valve. The Melody valve fixes the valve function without open-heart surgery. It can also lengthen the amount of time until a patient needs additional open-heart surgery, with the goal of prolonging it as long as possible.

The transcatheter pulmonary valve may not replace open-heart surgery as a treatment, but it can help delay the need for surgery and improve quality of life.

Watch a video about what to expect from your child's heart cath


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