Balloon mitral valvuloplasty is a minimally invasive therapeutic procedure to correct a mitral stenosis by dilating the valve using a balloon. For treatment of symptomatic mitral valve stenosis, balloon valvuloplasty has emerged as an alternative to surgery. Under local anaesthetic, a catheter with a special balloon is passed from the right femoral vein, up the inferior vena cava and into the right atrium. The interatrial septum is punctured and the catheter passed into the left atrium using a trans-septal technique. The balloon is sub-divided into 3 segments and is dilated in 3 stages. 1st the distal portion (lying in the left ventricle) is inflated and pulled against the valve cusps. Second the proximal portion is dilated, in order to fix the centre segment at the valve orifice. Finally, the central section is inflated, this should take no longer than 30 seconds since full inflation obstructs the valve and causes congestion, leading to circulatory arrest and flash pulmonary edema.
Mitral valvuloplasty (Video)