Until recently, replacing someone’s pulmonary valve required open-heart surgery. But McMahon offered the Fields another option — using the minimally invasive Melody Valve procedure to repair Dylan’s faulty pulmonary valve. The Melody Valve is a newly designed device with a valve mounted inside a stent. The stent is mounted on a balloon catheter and delivered from a small incision in the patient’s groin up into their heart.
McMahon says the Melody Valve is used in a fairly small subset of patients — ones born with congenital heart disease who already have had a pulmonary valve-replacement operation. The procedure, he says, can be a better alternative for patients who need multiple operations to replace the pulmonary valve.