Valvuloplasty is a minimally invasive procedure performed to increase the opening of a narrowed or defective valve in the heart. This procedure is performed in a cardiovascular catheterization laboratory.
How Valvuloplasty Is Performed
A catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the upper thigh (groin) or arm. Using high-resolution fluoroscopic (X-ray) video and film equipment, the catheter is guided through to the heart valve. After the catheter is in place, the balloon is inflated and deflated several times to expand the opening of the valve. After the valve is widened, the balloon is deflated and removed. Blood flowing through the valve is increased, helping to reduce symptoms of heart failure.
Valvuplasty can also help congenital heart disease by repairing defects in the aortic and pulmonary valves. When the balloon is inflated and deflated several times in the valve, leaflets that are attached together can be pulled apart.
This procedure is performed in a cardiovascular catheterization laboratory with mild sedation, known as conscious sedation. An IV (intravenous line) inserted into your arm or hand will provide you with medication to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
Patient Guides: Preparing for Cardiac and Peripheral Catheterization