Why is the doctor performing this procedure?

To repair a poorly functioning, stenotic (narrowed and stiff) heart valve, avoiding the use of artificial parts or valve replacement surgery.

What is the procedure?

Valvuloplasty, also called balloon valvuloplasty, is a catheter-based procedure that allows balloon opening of a stenotic heart valve. A catheter with a balloon attached is inserted into a groin artery, and advanced to the heart. The balloon is then advanced until it is directly in the opening of the narrowed valve (usually the mitral valve). Once positioned properly, the balloon is inflated and deflated several times, until the valve opening is adequately improved. The catheter and balloon are removed, pressure is applied to stop bleeding, and the patient must rest flat for several hours.

Where is the procedure performed?

Valvuloplasty is performed in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

How long does this procedure take?

Valvuloplasty usually takes about 1 - 2 hours.