Minimally invasive procedure to widen a heart valve
Expert Heart & Vascular Care
Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our heart or vascular specialists.
Certain heart valve diseases can cause a valve to become stiff and make the heart work harder to pump blood. We use balloon valvuloplasty to reopen the valve and allow blood to flow more easily to the chambers of the heart, lungs and rest of the body.
The experts in our Interventional Cardiology Program work out of multiple cardiac catheterization labs around the region that are staffed 24/7 and use the latest technology, meaning you can get treatment close to home. We offer several types of valvuloplasty including aortic valvuloplasty and mitral valvuloplasty.
What to expect during a balloon valvuloplasty
An IV will be inserted in your hand or your arm to provide a sedative to help you relax, but you will remain awake during the procedure. You will be connected to an electrocardiogram to monitor your heart during the procedure.
A local anesthetic will be injected to numb the groin area. The doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube known as a catheter into a blood vessel in the groin. The catheter will contain a balloon at the tip. Your doctor will guide the catheter to the valve and inject a dye to make it easier to see inside the valve. We’ll use X-rays to confirm the catheter is in the correct location, and your doctor will inflate the balloon.
You may be asked to breathe in deeply while your doctor positions and inflates the balloon. When the balloon is inflated, you may feel some chest discomfort, but it should not be painful. The balloon may be deflated and inflated several times to fully open the valve. After the valve has been opened, the balloon is deflated, and the catheter is removed.
The procedure lasts about an hour, but you will need to lie flat without bending your legs for several hours in the recovery area after the procedure. You may need to spend the night in the hospital.
A heart murmur is a swishing sound caused by abnormal blood flow in or around your heart. Often harmless, murmurs can be caused by problems with your heart valves.
Heart valve disease occurs when at least one of the four heart valves doesn’t work properly, disrupting the normal flow of blood.
Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.
Chest X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the structures inside the chest, including the lungs, heart and chest wall.
The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.
An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.
An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.