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Balloon Pulmonary Valvuloplasty

Balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty is a minimally invasive procedure performed to treat pulmonary valve stenosis, a condition characterised by the narrowing of the pulmonary valve in the heart. This procedure aims to widen the narrowed valve using a specially designed balloon, restoring normal blood flow and improving overall cardiac function. In this article, we will explore the concept of balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty, its significance, and the procedure involved in this effective treatment approach.

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About Balloon Pulmonary Valvuloplasty

Balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty is a catheter-based procedure that utilises a balloon-tipped catheter to widen a narrowed pulmonary valve. The pulmonary valve, situated between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery, regulates blood flow from the heart to the lungs. When the pulmonary valve becomes narrowed or stenosed, it obstructs blood flow and puts a strain on the heart.

Procedure of Balloon Pulmonary Valvuloplasty

Procedure of Balloon Pulmonary Valvuloplasty

  1. Anesthesia and Catheter Insertion: Balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty is typically performed under local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia. A catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin and guided to the heart, where the pulmonary valve is located.

  2. Balloon Placement and Inflation: Once the catheter reaches the narrowed pulmonary valve, a deflated balloon with a specially designed balloon-tip is positioned across the narrowed area. The balloon is then inflated, exerting pressure on the valve leaflets and stretching the narrowed valve opening.

  3. Balloon Deflation and Assessment: After a brief period of inflation, the balloon is deflated, allowing the blood to flow more freely through the widened valve. The cardiologist evaluates the results through imaging techniques such as echocardiography to assess the degree of improvement achieved.

  4. Post-procedure Monitoring and Recovery: Following balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty, patients are closely monitored in a recovery area. Vital signs are regularly assessed, and any post-procedure complications or discomfort are addressed. Most patients can be discharged within a day or two, depending on their overall condition.

Follow-up Care and Monitoring

Patients who undergo balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty are typically advised to have regular follow-up appointments with their cardiologist. These visits may include echocardiograms or other imaging tests to evaluate the valve's function and monitor for any signs of re-narrowing. Additionally, lifestyle modifications and medications may be recommended to manage symptoms and prevent the progression of pulmonary valve disease.


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