What is Balloon Mitral Valvuloplasty?
Balloon valvuloplasty is a non-surgical procedure performed to widen the opening of a narrowed heart valve (flaps of tissue that control the unidirectional flow of blood in the heart) and improve blood flow through the heart. Balloon mitral valvuloplasty is indicated to treat mitral valve stenosis, which is the narrowing of the valve between the left upper and lower heart chambers (mitral valve also called bicuspid valve or left atrioventricular valve).
Procedure of Balloon Mitral Valvuloplasty
The procedure is performed using a catheter (thin, long tube), which is inserted through an incision made in the groin and advanced through a major blood vessel till the chamber of the heart. Your surgeon makes a small hole in the wall between the top chambers of the heart. The hole provides access to the top left chamber. A special catheter with a balloon at the tip is inserted. The balloon is positioned within the narrowed mitral valve. Your surgeon then inflates and deflates the balloon many times to broaden the opening of the valve. The balloon is deflated and the catheter carefully removed after the opening is found to be sufficient. The catheter is withdrawn and a dressing and pressure is applied to the insertion site to prevent bleeding.
Complications of Balloon Mitral Valvuloplasty
As with all invasive procedures, balloon mitral valvuloplasty may be associated with certain complications such as blood clots, restenosis (narrowing of the valves again) and damage to the valve.