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Any 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.
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.
You 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.
Only local anesthesia and, sometimes, mild sedation are used. Local anesthesia will numb the area. Sedation will help you relax.
You 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.
During 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
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as:
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
Recovery time is minimal. There will be a bandage over the puncture site. You may be prescribed a blood thinner, like
aspirin. Certain strenuous activities will be limited. Other activities, like exercises and fluid intake, may be encouraged. Your doctor will want to see you several days to weeks later.
American Heart Association. Percutaneous balloon aortic valvuloplasty: acute and 30-day follow-up results in 674 patients from the NHLBI balloon valvuloplasty registry.
Chen CR, et al. Percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty for pulmonic stenosis in adolescents and adults.
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Kiwan Y, et al. Mitral balloon valvuloplasty by Inoue technique without echocardiographic standby.
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Tarka EA, Blitz L, et al. Hemodynamic effects and long-term outcome of percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty in patients with mitral stenosis and atrial fibrillation.
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6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Mills E, Eyawo O, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.