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.

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

  • 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.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified our cardiothoracic surgeons in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Adult Congenital Heart Association has accredited Norton Children’s Heart Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program as the only comprehensive care center in Kentucky and Indiana treating adults born with a heart defect.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has offices across Kentucky and Southern Indiana to bring quality pediatric heart care closer to home.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at Norton Children’s Hospital is the largest dedicated CICU in Kentucky, equipped with 17 private rooms and the newest technology available for heart care.
The Adult Congenital Heart Association has recognized Norton Children's Heart Institute for its expertise treating adult congenital heart disease.

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