Balloon Valvuloplasty

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Balloon Valvotomy

The balloon valvotomy procedure is performed on the heart valves (i.e. mitral, tricuspid, aortic or pulmonary) for increasing the opening of a narrowed or blocked valve. The heart valve narrowing makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the lungs or to the body. Treatment will depend on how severe your condition and symptoms are, in early stages monitoring and medications are enough. When condition progresses than either open heart surgery or Balloon valvotomy may be needed.

Mitral valve stenosis

Mitral valve regulates blood flow on the left side of the heart. The most common cause is rheumatic heart disease. Rheumatic heart disease happens due to streptococcal infection in childhood. This is common in India and Asian countries. When patient develops severe mitral stenosis he may present with - shortness of breath, palpitations and in late stages swelling in the legs and feet. In patients with severe mitral stenosis balloon mitral valvotomy is needed.

Aortic valve stenosis

Aortic valve stenosis is seen in two age groups – young patients where it is due to congenital defect and in old age where it is due to degenerative changes. When patient has symptoms like exertional breathlessness, chest pain, palpitation and dizziness he will need treatment. Balloon valvotomy is preferred in young patients, while in elderly patients we have to either go for surgical valve replacement or TAVI procedure.

Pulmonic valve stenosis

The pulmonary valve regulate blood flow fro right side of heart to lungs. This condition is congenital in origin and presents early in life. Most of the patient’s are asymptomatic, few may notice exertional chest pain and fatiguibality.

How it is done?

Balloon valvotomy is a non-surgical procedure performed by your interventional cardiologist. Procedure is based on use of catheter; a long, thin tube that has a balloon at the tip. The catheter is placed across the narrowed valve in your heart and balloon is inflated to stretch open the valve.

Before procedure

Your physician will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions that you might have about the procedure.

Your will be asked to run blood tests, a chest x-ray, electrocardiogram, and an echocardiogram before the procedure.

Tell your doctor about your medications (especially any blood thinning medications), discuss your medical history and if you have any allergies.

What to expect during a balloon valvotomy

  • You will be awake during the procedure.
  • Your doctor will insert the catheter through your groin. For that you will receive a local anesthesia near that site. You may also receive a sedative prior to the procedure to help you relax.
  • Once the catheter will be inserted through an artery, it is threaded to the desired site with the help of imaging devices.
  • These imaging devices help monitor the movement of catheters as they pass from one heart chamber to the next with X-ray images.
  • The catheter is positioned so the balloon is acorss the narrowed valve, the balloon is than inflated and deflated several times in order open the valve. This results in widening the valve opening.
  • Once your cardiologist has determined that the opening of the valve has been widened enough, the balloon is deflated and removed.
  • This procedure will improve blood flow through your heart. The improved blood flow relieves symptoms.
  • The catheter insertion site may be closed by the use of sutures, or by applying manual pressure to keep the blood vessel from bleeding.
  • Entire procedure lasts about an hour or so. Post procedure, you will be asked to stay overnight in the hospital and monitored for any changes or reactions. Depending on your condition and the results of your procedure, your stay may be longer.
  • Your doctor will give you detailed instructions for your discharge and recovery period.

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