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Pulmonary valve replacement.

Congenital heart defects often require surgical intervention in early childhood. During surgery, sometimes one or more heart valves may have to be replaced. Due to growth of the young patients, the early implanted heart valves become too small and have to be replaced - sometimes repeatedly - by larger valves. Those surgeries often take several hours and require cardiopulmonary bypass which is a great burden for the patients.

Carag is developing a system which allows for a replacement of the pulmonary valve with a minimal invasive intervention on the beating heart.

The core of the system is a biological valve sutured into a self expanding stent. The stent is loaded into a specifically developed delivery system and then brought to the right position in the heart. The stent is released and the replacement heart valve is deployed in situ. The complete intervention can be executed in slightly more than an hour and is less stressful for the patient than conventional open heart surgery.