Sapien Valve Implantation

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.

Why Choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is rated higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Heart Institute Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program.

  • Norton Children’s Hospital has been a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
  • Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiovascular surgeons are leaders in the field as clinicians and researchers.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons rated Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to treat a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient offices in Ashland, Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, London, Madisonville, Murray, Owensboro, Paducah and Shepherdsville in Kentucky; as well as Corydon, Jasper, Madison and Scottsburg in Indiana; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has awarded the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) is the largest dedicated CICU in Kentucky, equipped with 17 private rooms and the newest technology available for heart care.
  • Our multidisciplinary approach to pediatric heart surgery brings together our specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, cardiac critical care and other areas to create a complete care plan tailored for your child.
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Norton Children’s Heart Institute

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