Categories: Cardiology

What is a Balloon Valvuloplasty?

A balloon valvuloplasty is a surgical procedure executed to open a heart valve. Balloon Valvuloplasty is also called Dilation or a Balloon valvotomy. Heart valves are like gates that control the flow of blood between the upper and lower chambers of the heart, as well as the blood flow out from the heart.

During this operation, the doctor puts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel. The doctor puts the tube through that blood vessel and into the heart of the patient. The goal of this procedure is to improve the valve function and blood flow by enlarging the valve opening. If the heart valves become damaged, they may not work properly.

There are four valves in the heart — the aortic valve, pulmonary valve, mitral valve, and tricuspid valve. These valves are situated at the exit point of the heart’s four chambers. These valves are open and close to regulate the blood flow from one chamber to the next and are necessary to the efficient functioning of the heart and circulatory system.

Symptoms of Balloon Valvuloplasty:

  1. Swelling of the feet or ankles or maybe abdomen
  2. Pain in chest
  3. Feeling dizziness
  4. Gaining weight
  5. Hard to take breathe

Balloon Valvuloplasty is considered to be a safe effective treatment in children, improves the blood flow and heart function. The most successful valvuloplasty is treating narrowed pulmonary valves. Valvuloplasty may improve blood flow through your heart and reduce the symptoms. However, the valve may narrow again. It may need to have another valvuloplasty or other heart procedure, such as valve repair or replacement, in the future.

Balloon Valvuloplasty has a very shorter recovery time than the surgery. The surgical procedure is for 1 hour, but preparation and recovery time add several hours. At least 6 hours before surgery of balloon valvuloplasty patient has to avoid eating or drinking anything, it is considered for the safety purpose of patients. The procedure is recommended only as emergency protection for high-risk patients.

Types of Balloon Valvuloplasty:

  • Balloon mitral valvuloplasty

Patients who have been diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis; have high-risk aortic stenosis. It is a relatively safe procedure as well as a blind procedure and is associated with various complications.

  • Balloon aortic valvuloplasty

Balloon aortic valvuloplasty is also known as balloon aortic valvotomy. Its optimal medical management remains a safe option for the patient.

After the Balloon Valvuloplasty is done:

After the procedure, the recovery room for observation will be given to the patient. The patient may be remaining flat in bed for several hours after the procedure. Bed rest may vary from 2 to 6 hours depending on the patient’s particular condition. The doctor gives instructions on resuming normal activities of the patient after this complicated surgical operation.

The patient may be given medicine for pain or discomfort related to the insertion site or having the bed rest and still for a long period. Encouraged to drink water and other fluids to help flush from the patient’s body and after the balloon valvuloplasty patient may resume the usual diet unless the doctor not recommended to the patient.

After the specified period of bed rest, the patient may get out of bed. The nurse helps the first time when the patient gets up and may check blood pressure. They have to give some instructions when the patient gets up slowly from the bed to avoid any dizziness from the long period of bed rest.


Balloon valvuloplasty can have several serious complications.

It became important to keep the insertion site clean and dry. The doctor will give specific bathing instructions, may recommend the right diet for the patient. The doctor may advise not to participate in any extreme strenuous activities. The doctor recommends the performing of normal activities during the day. The patient should give a report to the doctor if they feel the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Increased pain, redness, swelling, or bleeding
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • To be faint
  • Decreased urination
  • Swelling of abdomen
  • Weight gain of over 3 pounds

Dr. Srinivas P | Consultant – Cardiology – Adult | Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Mysore

Narayana Health

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