Synonyms: Balloon Valvotomy, Balloon Valvuloplasty
Valvuloplasty is a procedure in which a small balloon is inserted and inflated to stretch and open a narrowed (stenosed) heart valve.
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Cost of procedure performed in the US: $50,000 (single valve)
All prices are in US dollars and include the cost of the procedure and minimum hospital stay. Estimates and minimum hospital stay will vary depending upon individual needs and requirements.
Valves are doors or gates that are present in the heart. Depending on their location, they can be aortic, pulmonary, mitral, and tricuspid valves. These valves control the flow of blood to and from the heart. When these valves become narrow (stenosis) due to hardening and calcium deposits, Valvuloplasty is performed to enlarge the narrowed opening and facilitate the flow of blood through them.
Valvuloplasty is used for selective patients who have mitral valve stenosis or pulmonary valve stenosis and cannot undergo a Open Heart Surgery or Beating Heart Surgery (major surgery) for Heart Valve Replacement. Valvuloplasty is also a procedure of choice in older or debilitated patients with aortic stenosis who are considered high risk for above mentioned major surgical procedures. Valvuloplasty is also indicated in children with congenital aortic stenosis, until the child is old enough to have Heart Valve Replacement surgery.
Valvuloplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure. You will be instructed to avoid eating or drinking anything for 6 - 8 hours before Valvuloplasty procedure. A mild sedative will be injected to help you relax during the Valvuloplasty procedure. Your groin area will be shaved and cleansed with an anti-septic.
Valvuloplasty is performed in Cardiac Catheterization laboratory or cath. lab. in a hospital. The procedure of Valvuloplasty may take up to four hours. A local anesthetic is injected in your groin at the site where the catheter will be inserted. Guided by a video camera and x-rays, the cardiologist carefully inserts and threads a catheter through your artery or vein depending on where the problem lies. Once this catheter is in place, a balloon tipped catheter is slowly threaded through the first catheter; the deflated balloon is repeatedly inflated to open the valve leaflets apart. Once the valvular opening has been widened enough, the balloon tipped catheter is removed while the first catheter is left in place in case the procedure needs to be repeated.
Following Valvuloplasty, you will be sent to the recovery room where your vital signs will be monitored. If you experience pain, then pain medication will be given, the catheter insertion site will be covered with a sand bag to prevent bleeding. Fluids will be administered to help flush out the dye. ECG will be performed to monitor your heart’s activity. The entire hospital stay may last from 1 - 3 days depending on your general condition.
The procedure of Valvuloplasty has been considered to be fairly safe. Valvuloplasty has a success rate of 80 - 90% with minimum chances of post-operative complications and very low incidence of valve leakage. Although Valvuloplasty has been performed since the 1950’s, refined techniques and materials have improved the outcome of this procedure.
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Keywords: Valvular Heart Disease, Artificial Heart Valves, Arrhythmia, Stroke, Congestive Heart Failure, Heart Attack, Kidney Failure, Congenital Heart Disease, Lung Function