Valvuloplasty is a procedure to restore blood flow to the chambers of your heart. There are warning signs that might indicate you have poor blood flow and need this type of treatment.
At Chinatown Cardiology, with five New York City locations, our experienced cardiology team provides comprehensive diagnostic evaluations on-site to determine if you’re a good candidate for this procedure. Once you are determined to be suitable for the procedure, a mitral balloon valvuloplasty procedure can be performed at our affiliated hospitals to restore function to your mitral valve, one of four valves in your heart.
Understanding mitral valve stenosis
Mitral valve stenosis describes an abnormal narrowing of your mitral valve. When you have this condition, your valve doesn’t open correctly and blocks blood flow to your heart.
Some people are born with a narrowed valve, a condition known as congenital mitral valve stenosis. Others develop this condition as a result of underlying medical issues.
This disorder is sometimes identified first during an echocardiogram or other heart test to diagnose another condition.
You might also learn about this valve dysfunction if you have chest pain, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of a heart problem.
What to know about valvuloplasty
During a valvuloplasty, your surgeon passes a catheter with tiny balloons attached through the femoral veins in your groin and up to your heart. The mitral valve is on the left side of the heart.
Once the catheter is in place, they gently inflate the balloons to widen the mitral valve and improve blood flow to the area. As new blood flows through your heart, you can expect a significant reduction in your symptoms.
Following a valvuloplasty, you can expect to remain in the hospital for observation for up to 48 hours. Otherwise, you can resume most of your usual activities soon after your procedure.
We monitor your heart health over time to ensure your heart valves are functioning optimally.
Signs you might need valvuloplasty
Our cardiologists may consider you a candidate for mitral valve valvuloplasty if you have:
1. Chest pain or shortness of breath
When you have mitral valve stenosis, fluids can build up in your heart. The resulting pressure can cause persistent fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain. These symptoms can get worse without treatment.
2. Pulmonary hypertension
Pulmonary hypertension develops when there’s too much pressure in the blood vessels leading from your heart to your lungs.
This can cause narrowing in the arteries in your lungs and prevent blood from flowing as efficiently as it should. As a result, your blood may not get the oxygen your body needs to function.
3. Moderate to severe mitral valve stenosis
If left untreated, moderate to severe mitral valve stenosis can lead to heart enlargement, heart failure, and blood clots. A valvuloplasty can quickly restore blood flow to your heart and lower your risk for these complications.
If you’re not a candidate for a valvuloplasty, we can discuss medications and other treatments to keep blood flowing throughout your heart.
If you have symptoms of mitral valve stenosis, don’t put off a diagnostic evaluation. Call one of the convenient Chinatown Cardiology locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, or book an appointment online today.