Percutaneous accomplishes even more

Melody TranscatheterWith the FDA's approval of Medtronic's Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve and Ensemble Delivery System (see link), another step has been made toward eliminating traditional surgery — at least that's the idea. The ability to implant a valve via a percutaneous procedure advances the art of less invasive intervention in ways akin to laparoscopic surgery, albeit at lower volume.

Percutaneous, NOTES (natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery) and laparoscopic surgery are progressively removing the need for invasive traditional surgery. 

It is precisely due to percutaneous procedures that coronary stents have been able to present such a clinical challenge to coronary artery bypass. Although minimally invasive approaches to CABG are an attempt to pull back some surgical caseload, they are technically complex, expensive and, therefore, are not likely to stem the tide toward the dominance of percutaneous procedures. Ironically, the one procedure that may save bypass is the transcatheter route.  With the approval of the Melody approach, it is clear that that is not impossible.

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See Worldwide Coronary Stents Market.

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