Balloon valvuloplasty (or valvulotomy) means dilation of narrowed cardiac valve with balloon. This modality of treatment useful in certain diseases of valves of the heart in which valve stenosis occurs either due to birth defect or due to acquired inflammation. This procedure is usually done by a small injection from your groin region under local anesthesia. Mild sedation is given to you for pain relief. You remain conscious during the procedure; unlike valve replacement surgery which is an open heart surgery and requires general anesthesia.
In this procedure a long, thin tube (catheter) is inserted from your groin. Then a balloon is advanced to your heart and passed across the diseased narrowed valve. Now the balloon is inflated to open or stretch the valve. The balloon is then deflated and it is removed along with the catheter from your body. Balloon valvuloplasty relieves many symptoms of heart valve disease, but may not completely cure it.
Balloon valvuloplasty is useful for all 4 cardiac valves named Mitral, Aortic, Pulmonary and Tricuspid. It is commonly done in rheumatic heart disease involving mitral valve causing mitral stenosis (narrowing of mitral valve). Balloon aortic valvuloplasty and ballon pulmonary valvuloplasty are commonly performed in children.
If you have any heart valve problem, you should consult your cardiologist. Cardiologist will perform Echocardiography to look at the problem in the valve and then can advise whether you should get benefit of balloon valvuloplasty and whether it is an appropriate treatment for your condition.