What is a balloon valvotomy?

Balloon valvotomy, also called a balloon valvuloplasty is a procedure that widens one of the heart valves that has narrowed. This narrowing is commonly referred to as valve stenosis.

Why is this procedure done?

A balloon valvotomy is performed to widen or expand a narrowing heart valve and is an effective treatment for valve stenosis in children, teens, and young adults. It can have limited effectiveness in older adults. Determining the cause of the narrowing will help your physician determine if a balloon valvotomy or a valve replacement are a better treatment plan for you.

What to expect during a balloon valvotomy

You will be awake, but you will receive local anesthesia near the site of the procedure as well as pain medicine along with a sedative to help you relax.

During the procedure, a tube or catheter will be inserted through an artery in your arm or leg and has a balloon on the end. When the tube reaches the narrowed heart valve, the balloon is inflated and widens the valve opening. Expect an overnight stay in the hospital before you return home.

Results to expect from a balloon valvotomy

  • More energy, less fatigue
  • Increase in breathing capacity
  • Reduced pain or swelling in the lower legs and feet

Common conditions that require a balloon valvotomy

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Mitral valve stenosis

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