Heart Malformation Surgery

New Technologies for Surgery of the Congenital Cardiac Defect

David Kalfa and Emile Bacha


The surgical repair of complex congenital heart defects frequently requires additional tissue in various forms, such as patches, conduits, and valves. These devices often require replacement over a patient’s lifetime because of degeneration, calcification, or lack of growth. The main new technologies in congenital cardiac surgery aim at, on the one hand, avoiding such reoperations and, on the other hand, improving long-term outcomes of devices used to repair or replace diseased structural malformations. These technologies are: 1) new patches: CorMatrix® patches made of decellularized porcine small intestinal submucosa extracellular matrix; 2) new devices: the Melody® valve (for percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation) and tissue-engineered valved conduits (either decellularized scaffolds or polymeric scaffolds); and 3) new emerging fields, such as antenatal corrective cardiac surgery or robotically assisted congenital cardiac surgical procedures. These new technologies for structural malformation surgery are still in their infancy but certainly present great promise for the future. But the translation of these emerging technologies to routine health care and public health policy will also largely depend on economic considerations, value judgments, and political factors.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2013;4(3):e0019