Medical device made from cow veins can repair human heart valves

Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve

An amazing piece of technology is making a huge difference in the way doctors approach heart surgery.

It's called the Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve, or Melody Valve for short.

It comes from the jugular vein of a cow.

â??As you know, they graze, so they put their heads down. Also, this valve helps the blood not go into their heads," explains Dr. Juan Olano.

The $30,000 valve is inserted into a small tube that goes through the neck and into the heart.

"Imagine yourself getting wires through a wall in your house. So, you need to put a wire and you need to put a hole in the very bottom part and top part, and not destroy the whole entire wall. This is the same way," Olano says.

Once the valve is in place, the surgeon inflates the balloon and then deflates it before he pulls the wire back out, thus repairing the defect, for now.

"It's a platform that has changed, dramatically, the way we look at things. Because, instead of having to do this in an absolutely invasive manner, we're going less and less invasive, but with the same safeguards that we've had up until now,â?? Olano says.

(Information courtesy NBC News)