The Edwards Sapien valve, also known as the Sapien valve, is a collapsible valve that can be implanted without surgery to replace a defective heart valve. Sapien valves are used to replace defective pulmonary, aortic and mitral valves. Performing a valve replacement can delay or even prevent the need for open heart surgery.
The pediatric heart specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, are experienced and trained to implant the Sapien valve through a 1/4-inch incision, usually in the groin area or neck.
Under the supervision of specially trained pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists, your child will be asleep as the physician threads a catheter (a small, thin tube) through a large blood vessel to the site of the defective valve.
The collapsed Sapien valve is attached onto a balloon catheter. Once at the precise location, the doctor inflates the balloon to expand the valve. The new valve stays in place and the doctor removes the balloon along with the catheter.
The procedure usually takes three to four hours, and your child likely will spend one night at Norton Children’s Hospital following the procedure.
After the procedure, most children can go back to school within three days. Your child will not be able to participate in sports for at least six weeks following the procedure.
Norton Children’s Heart Institute is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana. We have experienced interventional cardiologists that can discuss how best to treat your child with a defective heart valve.
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has rated Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region. Norton Children’s has a network of outreach diagnostic and treatment services conveniently located throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.