Patients with certain types of congenital heart disease, such as variants of tetralogy of fallot, may be eligible for surgical repair that places a valved conduit between the right side of the heart and the arteries that direct blood to the lungs.
Over time, the valved conduit frequently fails and leads to blood leakage from the lungs to the right side of the heart. This can cause excess stress on the heart and ultimately heart failure and heart rhythm problems.
Previously, the only option for patients with failing conduits was replacement through open heart surgery. At UVA, we provide a new, less invasive approach — the Melody valve.
Melody Valve: A New Heart Valve Option
FDA approved, the Melody valve is only available for patients with failed right ventricle-to-pulmonary artery conduits.
Eligibility tests may include:
- Chest X-ray
- CT angiography
Inserting the Melody Valve
You doctor uses cardiac catheterization to see the diseased pulmonary valve and guide the placement of the Melody valve.
Your doctor makes an incision in the leg to allow placement of a catheter into the blood vessels. The Melody valve is crimped onto a balloon at the end of that catheter. When the Melody valve is in position across the old diseased valve, the balloon inflates to expand the valve into position and move the diseased valve out of the way. This allows unobstructed blood flow from the heart to the lungs without using traditional open heart surgery.