The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the US has become the first hospital in its region to implant transcatheter pulmonary heart valves in children with heart defects.

The transcatheter pulmonary valve gives patients with congenital heart defects a non-surgical option to replace valves that have failed.

The device is delivered through a catheter and so only requires a small incision, meaning that major surgery can be avoided when a child outgrows the initial valve.

Patients can recover from the procedure quickly – they can expect to resume normal life within a week.

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