Why Choose Penn Medicine

When a previously replaced pulmonary valve or surgical conduit becomes dysfunctional, Penn cardiologists can use transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement (TPVR) to replace the valve without surgery. We lead the field in experience with transcatheter valve replacement, performing the procedure longer than doctors at any hospital in the Philadelphia region.

TPVR Treatment Overview 

After a prior congenital heart disease surgery, adult patients may find that their implanted pulmonary valve is not functioning well anymore. If you have severe pulmonary stenosis or regurgitation (leaky valve), your doctors may recommend TPVR.

During this procedure, also called a valve-in-valve procedure, the new valve is placed inside your existing prosthetic pulmonary valve. Your cardiologist inserts a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) through an artery in your groin. Using expert imaging, your doctor then guides an expandable tissue valve to your heart.

TPVR Procedure: What to Expect

A team of interventional cardiologists, imaging specialists and cardiothoracic anesthesiologists work together during a TPVR procedure. You’ll be under general anesthesia or conscious sedation for two to three hours. During the TPVR procedure, your cardiologist:

  • Inserts a catheter into the femoral artery in your groin. 
  • Guides the catheter to your pulmonary valve using advanced imaging.
  • Places the compressed heart valve on the catheter and positions it inside your prosthetic pulmonary valve.
  • Expands the valve to secure it in place.
  • Removes the catheter from your blood vessel.

After the procedure, expect to spend up to three days in the hospital. Our cardiac team closely monitors your recovery and comfort. You can typically return to normal activities after about a week. Your doctor will instruct you about resuming or beginning medications after the procedure.

Benefits of TPVR

Compared to open-chest pulmonary valve replacement, nonsurgical pulmonary valve replacement has many benefits, including:

  • Less pain
  • Shorter recovery period
  • Immediate improvement of symptoms related to pulmonary valve disease
  • Lower risk of medical complications associated with multiple open-chest surgeries
  • Quick return to normal activity

Cardiac Rehabilitation after TPVR

Following TPVR, your cardiologist may recommend outpatient cardiac rehabilitation. This program provides personalized support. Our expert therapists offer heart health education and guidance in exercise and proper nutrition.

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