Percutaneous Balloon Valvuloplasty

Opening constricted heart valves

By Brandie Umar, Executive Director of ContentLast modified: March 07, 2011

Percutaneous Balloon Valvuloplasty

A cardiac treatment to open constricted heart valves as an alternative to heart valve replacement, percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty involves a balloon being used to open the restricted valve.


In a procedure similar to a coronary angioplasty, a catheter is placed through a vein, usually in the groin. A balloon is attached to the end of the catheter and is inflated once inside the valve. The inflated balloon opens the valve and allows blood to flow normally between the chambers of the heart.  


When is percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty used?

Percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty is a recommended cardiac treatment for teenagers and young adults with constricted heart valves. It is often used to widen the heart valves of elderly placement who are unable to have heart valve replacement surgery or as a 'bridge' treatment until heart valve replacement surgery can be scheduled.

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