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Balloon Valvuloplasty

Valvuloplasty is a procedure that uses a large balloon catheter to stretch open scarred valves that are blocking blood flow to the lungs, chambers of the heart or the body.

During this procedure, your doctor inserts a small catheter into the blood vessel and uses it to guide a wire to the problem valve. Leaving the wire in place, he or she then removes the smaller catheter and guides a larger one with a balloon attached. Your doctor may inject a contrast dye into the balloon so that it shows up on X-rays. This may be necessary to make sure the balloon is in the right place. Once in position, the doctor inflates the balloon, which stretches and widens the valve.