Valvuloplasty is performed, in certain circumstances, to open a stenotic (stiff) heart valve. In valvuloplasty, a very small, narrow, hollow tube, or catheter, is advanced from a blood vessel in the groin through the aorta into the heart. Once the catheter is placed in the valve to be opened, a large balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated until the leaflets (flaps) of the valve are opened. Once the valve has been opened, the balloon is deflated and the catheter is removed.
Other related procedures that may be used to assess and treat the heart include resting and exercise electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), Holter monitor, signal-averaged ECG, cardiac catheterization, chest x-ray, computed tomography (CT scan) of the chest, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, valve repair/replacement surgery, echocardiography, electrophysiological studies, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart, myocardial perfusion scans, radionuclide angiography, and ultrafast CT scan.
Valves of the heart
To better understand how valvular heart disease affects the heart, a review of basic heart anatomy and valve function follows. The heart is a pump made of muscle tissue. The heart has four pumping chambers: two upper chambers, called atria, and two lower chambers, called ventricles.
The right atrium pumps blood into the right ventricle, which then pumps the blood into the lungs where wastes such as carbon dioxide are given off and oxygen and other nutrients are taken into the blood.
From the lungs, the blood flows back into the left atrium, is pumped into the left ventricle, and then is pumped through the aorta out to the rest of the body and the coronary arteries. When the atria are pumping, the ventricles are relaxed in order to receive the blood from the atria.
Once the atria have pumped their entire blood load into the ventricles, they relax while the ventricles pump the blood out to the lungs and to the rest of the body. In order to keep the blood flowing forward during its journey through the heart,
There are valves between each of the heart's pumping chambers : -
Tricuspid valve - located between the right atrium and the right ventricle
Pulmonary (or pulmonic) valve - located between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery
Mitral valve - located between the left atrium and the left ventricle
Aortic valve - located between the left ventricle and the aorta
Valvular heart disease may cause the following symptoms : -
Reasons for the Procedure
Valvuloplasty is performed in certain situations in order to open a heart valve that has become stiff as a result of disease or the aging process. Not all conditions in which a heart valve becomes stiff are treatable with valvuloplasty. There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend a valvuloplasty.
Notify your local physician to report any of the following : -
Your physician may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.
You are encouraged to stay in touch with We Care India and the treating surgeon for communication post surgery. We would also advise you to establish a link between your local physician and We Care to track your progress.
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