Congratulations to doctors at Children's Hospital Central California of Fresno, who came up with a new and improved way to treat heart defects in young patients.

They've devised a way to replace heart valves without cracking open chests, a method that requires long periods of recovery. Dr. Carl Owada of the hospital's cardiac catheterization laboratory, told the Fresno Bee that the procedure was successful with two teenage patients.

Previously, children with narrowed pulmonary arteries and other pulmonary valve defects faced open-heart surgery. In the new procedure a Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve is threaded into the heart through a catheter inserted into a vein in the patient's leg. An angioplasty balloon is inflated to insert the valve, then deflated and extracted.

It's great to see this kind of procedure show such promise, and greater still to see it pioneered in the Central Valley.