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Percutaneous Balloon Valvuloplasty
Pronounced: Purr-cue-TAY-knee-us BA-loon VAL-view-low-PLAS-tee
by Ricker Polsdorfer, MD
Percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty is a procedure to improve a heart valve. A balloon will help to open a stiff heart valve.
Reasons for Procedure TOP
This procedure is done to improve blood flow through a heart valve. It is done to treat a condition called stenosis. Better blood flow will relieve symptoms. For most, the improvement will last at least 2 years.
This procedure is not appropriate for all stenosis. Some will require open heart surgery instead.
Possible Complications TOP
Problems from the procedure are rare. All procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Your risk of complications may be increased if you have:
Certain factors can increase the risk of complications. Talk to your doctor about factors that may increase your risk such as:
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
There are many tests that will be done before the procedure. They will help determine your heart health and valve damage.
Talk to your doctor about your medicine. You may be asked to stop taking some medicine up to one week before the procedure.
Local anesthesia will numb the area. Sedation medicine will help you relax.
Description of the Procedure TOP
You will be lying down in a special procedure room. There will be x-ray machines and surgical equipment.
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 heart valve. The doctor can watch the progress of wire with the x-rays. A tube with a balloon tip will be passed over the wire. A dye may be injected through the device. This will help the doctor see the area and make sure the device is in the right place. The balloon will then be inflated and deflated. The inflation may need to be repeated. The device will then be removed from the blood vessel. A dressing will be placed over the puncture site.
Immediately After Procedure TOP
You may need to lie still and flat on your back for a little while. A pressure dressing may be placed over the puncture area.
How Long Will It Take? TOP
Between 30 minutes and 2 hours
How Much Will It Hurt? TOP
You may feel some discomfort when the balloon is inflated. It is usually minor.
Average Hospital Stay TOP
Most people are kept overnight. The medical team will monitor for any complications. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if problems arise.
Postoperative Care TOP
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as:
Time to recover is short. There will be a bandage over the puncture site. Strenuous activities will be limited for a short time. The doctor will need to recheck progress in several days to weeks later.
A blood thinner may also be needed.
Call Your Doctor TOP
It is important for you to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems right away. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Heart Association
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Balloon valvuloplasty. Encyclopedia of Surgery website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed September 15, 2017.
Mitral valve stenosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115920/Mitral-stenosis. Updated May 31, 2017. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Valvuloplasty. John Hopkins Medicine website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated September 15, 2017.
6/2/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed...: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Last Updated: 5/9/2018
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