AUSTIN (KXAN) — Shorter recovery time for less money and with less pain. That’s what Dell Children’s Medical Center is offering by being the first hospital in Central Texas to offer Medtronic’s Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve.
The Melody valve is used to replace the pulmonary valve, between the right side of the heart and lungs, through a catheter placed in the leg.
Alyson Hunter, 13, was born with the most common complex congenital heart condition, a tetralogy of fallot. She had her first surgery at 2 months old. With the new procedure being offered by DCMC, Hunter went in for the procedure on a Thursday, went home the next morning and was back at school on Monday.
“I was really happy they didn’t have to go over my scar again,” Hunter said. “I was really happy that I didn’t have to be in recovery for a long time. It was good.”
First approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 2015, the Melody valve is made from a cow’s vein sewn into a metal frame. Once inserted into the heart through the groin, the balloon is inflated and the catheter is removed.
Candidates for the procedure are patients who have already had at least one open-heart surgery on the pulmonary valve.