Balloon Aortic Valvuloplasty
Balloon valvuloplasty. This procedure uses a soft, thin tube (catheter) tipped with a balloon to open up the aortic valve passageway. A doctor guides the catheter through a blood vessel in your elbow or groin to your heart and into the narrowed aortic valve. Once in position, a balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated. The balloon pushes open the aortic valve and stretches the valve opening. The balloon is then deflated, and the catheter with balloon is guided back out of your body. Balloon valvuloplasty may relieve aortic valve stenosis and its symptoms, especially in infants and children. However, in adults, the procedure isn’t usually successful, and the valve tends to narrow again even after initial success. For these reasons, doctors rarely use balloon valvuloplasty today to treat aortic valve stenosis in adults, except in patients who are too sick to undergo surgery.