The procedure was performed by St Paul’s Hospital Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Cardiology director John Webb.

The valve is made of bovine pericardial tissue and is designed to increase physicians’ control and placement during valve deployment.

The Portico transcatheter heart valve is completely resheathed (the process of bringing the valve back into the delivery catheter) and retrieved before it is released from the delivery system, allowing physicians to reposition the valve at the implant site.

Two delivery methods are available for the Portico valve, transfemoral (delivered via the femoral artery) and transapical (delivered via a small incision in the apex of the left ventricle).

St Jude Medical Cardiovascular Division president Frank Callaghan said the valve is designed to resolve several limitations associated with the first generation of transcatheter valves, and it demonstrated some of the benefits as it was recaptured and repositioned during its first implant procedure.

The European clinical trial of the St Jude Medical transcatheter aortic valve is expected to start in late 2011.