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Balloon Valvotomy: Function, Procedure, and Risks

  • Posted on- Feb 21, 2017
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There are four heart valves present in the heart: pulmonary valve, tricuspid valve, mitral valve, and aortic valve. A balloon valvotomy is a procedure done to treat the mitral valve stenosis. The narrowing down of blood vessels in the mitral valve creates difficulty in the blood flow and increases the risk of high blood pressure and other lung related disorders. Balloon valvotomy is a minimal invasive procedure that widens the mitral valve making the blood to flow easily throughout the heart. Balloon valvotomy is, mostly advised to patients with moderate or severe stenosis. Balloon valvotomy should not be performed if there are blood clots or the calcium build up in the patient’s heart.

Need for a Balloon valvotomy

The need for balloon valvotomy procedure completely depends upon the condition of the mitral valve. The surgeon will decide whether a person needs a balloon valvotomy or any other surgery. If a patient has severe mitral valve condition, a surgeon may suggest heart valve replacement.

Balloon Valvotomy Procedure

In a balloon valvotomy procedure, a small, thin and flexible tube also known as a catheter is inserted into an artery in the arm and is connected to the heart. When the catheter is, extended through the narrow blood vessel in the mitral valve, the flexible tube is, aerated by the balloon like tool placed on the tip of a catheter. The narrowed blood vessel in the material valve is widened, when inflated balloon presses against it. Thus, the expanded blood vessel allows more blood to flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle.

Function of Balloon valvotomy

The balloon valvotomy procedure neither cures the illness related to the heart nor does it makes the valve normal. The function of the balloon valvotomy procedure is to resume the blood flow to the heart. The widen blood vessels improves the blood flow and provides relief from the symptoms of heart disease, like high blood pressure. After this, procedures the blood pressure inside the left atrium decreases. Always consider a qualified and experienced cardiologist before undergoing this procedure.

Risks of Balloon Valvotomy

  • Since balloon valvotomy is a minimal invasive procedure, it has fewer complications and death rate when compared to an open heart surgery.
  • The blood vessels in the mitral valve can again become narrow after a few years. A patient may have to undergo balloon valvotomy procedure again or a valve replacement surgery may be performed for the proper functioning of the valve.
  • This procedure is performed using the thin and flexible tubes that are inserted into the heart, which widens the blocked heart vessel and resumes the easy flow of blood vessel. Therefore, only 1% of the cases of balloon valvotomy results in death.


user profile image
09-05-2017 06:54 AM

I am unclear about the information you shared. Can anybody explain me more?

user profile image
08-04-2017 06:18 PM

I had gone through this procedure. The procedure is very useful and there is no risk associated with this procedure.

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