Percutaneous Balloon Valvuloplasty
DefinitionPercutaneous balloon valvuloplasty is done to open a constricted heart valve with a balloon.
|Mitral Valve Stenosis|
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Reasons for ProcedureAny of the heart’s four valves can become damaged. It may happen because of conditions at birth or scarring from disease. A damaged valve can decrease the amount of blood that flows through it. This condition is called stenosis . Low blood flow can lead to heart failure and death. The valve will need to be opened to restore full blood flow. Rheumatic fever and congenital birth defects are two main causes of stenosis. It can also happen due to aging and calcium deposits. Depending on the overall condition of the valve, relief of symptoms can be expected to last at least 2 years. Some people have relief of symptoms much longer.
Possible ComplicationsProblems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Leaking valve
- Damage to the heart or other organs
- Blood clot formation
- Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity
What to Expect
Prior to ProcedureYou will have a thorough evaluation to determine your overall condition, the health of your heart, and the exact nature of your valve defect. The success of the procedure depends a great deal on the condition of the valve. This includes whether the valve is calcified, how thick it is, and how narrow the opening is. Many valves cannot be fixed with this technique. They will require open-heart surgery instead.Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
AnesthesiaOnly local anesthesia and, sometimes, mild sedation are used. Local anesthesia will numb the area. Sedation will help you relax.
Description of the ProcedureYou will be lying down in a special procedure room. There will be x-ray machines and surgical equipment. Depending on the valve that needs work, a blood vessel in your groin or arm will be prepared. A wire will be placed through your skin to the blood vessel. It will be passed through the blood vessel until it reaches the valve. Progress will be monitored by x-rays. A tube with a balloon tip will be threaded over the wire. A contrast material may be injected through the device. This will help to visualize the area and make sure the device is in the right place. When the balloon is in the valve, it will be inflated and deflated. The inflation may need to be repeated. The device will then be removed from the blood vessel.
Immediately After ProcedureYou will likely need to lie still and flat on your back for a period of time. A pressure dressing may be placed over the puncture area.
How Long Will It Take?Between 30 minutes and two hours
How Much Will It Hurt?You may feel some minor discomfort when the balloon is inflated. Some people report a flushing sensation if contrast is injected.
Average Hospital StayMost people are kept overnight for observation. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if complications arise.
Postoperative CareDuring your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incisions