It is possible to perform valvuloplasty to open a stenotic (tight) heart valve. Your doctor does valvuloplasty by inserting a catheter—a very tiny, narrow, hollow tube—into a blood vessel in the groyne and advancing it into the aorta and into the heart. Your doctor pushes a big balloon at the catheter's tip against the rigid valve until the flaps (leaflets) of the valve are forced open. The doctor deflates the balloon and removes the catheter after opening the valve.
There are valves between each of the pumping chambers of the heart to maintain forward blood flow during the heart's contractions:
A stiff heart valve may be opened with a procedure called valvuloplasty. However, valvuloplasty cannot always be used to address heart valve stiffness.
The heart valves may not function properly if they get ill or damaged. Valvular stenosis (stiffened valve) and valvular regurgitation are conditions that could harm the heart valves (leaky valve). The heart muscle has to work harder to pump blood through a stiff valve, assuming there is one (or many stiff valves). Infection (such as rheumatic fever or staphylococcus infections), congenital abnormalities, and age can all result in stiff valves. Blood leaks backward and less blood is pumped in the right direction if one or more valves develop leaks.
Heart valve disease might cause the following symptoms:
• A valvuloplasty often goes like this:
• Take off any jewellery or other anything that can obstruct the operation. If you use either a hearing aid or dentures, you may wear them.
• Before the procedure, put on a hospital gown and void your bladder.
• If necessary, a medical practitioner will begin an intravenous (IV) line in your hand or arm so they can administer IV fluids or an injection of medication.
• It is possible to shave off extra hair if it is present at the catheter insertion site (groyne area).
• The room will include many monitor screens that will display your vital signs, pictures of the catheter being inserted into the heart, and views of the heart's internal architecture as the dye is being injected by your doctor.
• A sedative will be administered intravenously (IV) before the treatment to assist you to relax. However, you'll probably be conscious throughout the process.
• A medical professional will examine, record, and compare your pulses below the injection site to your pulses following the procedure.
• The insertion site will receive an injection of local anaesthetic. After the local anaesthetic is given, there may be a brief period of stinging at the injection site. When the local anaesthetic has finished working, your doctor will place an introducer, also known as a sheath, into the blood vessel. This is a plastic tube that will be used to advance the catheter into the blood artery and into the heart. The valvuloplasty catheter will be inserted into the blood vessel and into the heart by your doctor through the sheath.
• Your doctor will insert the catheter into the valve and then inject contrast dye through the catheter to examine the area. When the contrast dye is delivered into the IV line, you can experience certain side effects. These side effects may include flushing, a metallic or salty aftertaste on the tongue, or a momentary headache. These effects often only last a short while.
• If you experience any breathing issues, sweating, numbness, itching, chills, nausea or vomiting, or heart palpitations, let your doctor know.
• On a monitor, the doctor will observe the injection of the contrast dye. He or she might urge you to inhale deeply and hold your breath for a moment.
• After the balloon has been placed and inflated, you can experience some light wooziness or possibly momentary chest discomfort. When the balloon is inflated and deflated, this should stop. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any significant discomfort or pain, such as chest pain, jaw pain, arm pain, back pain, shortness of breath, or trouble breathing.
• To open the valve, your doctor could blow up and blow down the balloon multiple times.
• The catheter will be removed by your doctor once the valve has been sufficiently expanded. He or she may use sutures, a closure device that employs collagen to seal the opening in the artery, or manual pressure to stop bleeding from the blood vessel to shut the catheter insertion site. Which approach is best for your situation will be decided by your doctor.
• If your doctor closes the wound with a device, a sterile dressing will be placed there. If manual pressure is used, the physician (or an assistant) will maintain pressure on the insertion site in order to promote the formation of a clot. A very tight bandage will be applied to the area once the bleeding has ceased.
It may be recommended by your doctor that you wait 4 to 6 hours before removing the introducer, or sheath, from the insertion site. This allows the effects of the blood-thinning medicine to lessen. You must remain flat on the ground during this period. Your nurse may give you medicine to ease your discomfort if you start to feel uneasy in this position.
You'll be taken there to receive treatment. If the insertion was in the groyne, you won't be able to bend your leg for a few hours. You can place a sheet over the knee of the affected leg and tuck the ends under the mattress on either side of the bed to create a loose constraint that will remind you to keep your leg straight.
What happens after a valvuloplasty?
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