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Stethoscope on the Cardiogram

Balloon Mitral Valvotomy


The mitral valve is a valve with two flaps in the heart that lies between the left atrium and the left ventricle. Sometimes, the valves don't open or close properly, disrupting the blood flow through your heart to your body and also causes blood to leak backward to the left atrium. The valve may also be narrowed. Balloon Mitral Valvuloplasty is a procedure used to widen the mitral valve to allow blood to flow more easily through the heart.

Blood passes through a valve before leaving each chamber of the heart. There are four valves within your heart. The heart valves make sure blood flows in only one direction through your heart.

Valve stenosis can sometimes be treated with medications if the symptoms are mild. When medications do not work to control symptoms, balloon valvotomy or surgical valve repair or replacement is performed.

Balloon valvotomy successfully opens the narrowed valve and improves the overall function of the heart. If balloon valvotomy cannot be performed, surgical valve repair or replacement may be options. Valve repair may be performed to separate fused valve leaflets, sew torn leaflets or reshape parts of the valve. Valve replacement (removing the old valve and replacing it with a mechanical or biological valve) is reserved for valves that are damaged beyond repair.

Balloon valvotomy is used to increase the opening of a narrowed (stenotic) valve. It is used for:

  • Select patients who have mitral valve stenosis with symptoms

  • Older patients who have aortic valve stenosis, but are not able to undergo surgery

  • Some patients with pulmonic valve stenosis

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