Congenital pulmonary stenosis is a
health problem that is present from birth. It’s when the pulmonary valve in your heart
doesn’t fully open. Congenital pulmonary stenosis balloon valvuloplasty is a procedure
to fix this problem. This procedure does not require open heart surgery.
The heart’s ventricles are the 2
lower chambers of the heart. The right ventricle pumps blood low in oxygen to the lungs.
It connects to the pulmonary artery, the main blood vessel leading to the lungs. Between
the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery is the pulmonary valve. It’s one of the
heart’s 4 valves. These valves help the blood flow through the heart’s 4 chambers and
out to the body. Normally the pulmonary valve opens fully when the right ventricle
squeezes. It allows the blood to flow from the right ventricle to the pulmonary
Sometimes a person may have an
abnormally thickened or fused valve. The valve might have an abnormal number of small
parts, called leaflets. As a result, the valve can’t open as fully as it normally would.
As pressure builds up in the right ventricle, the heart has to work harder to push the
blood out to the lungs. Over time, this can damage the overworked heart muscle and lead
to symptoms. Sometimes the area around the valve also fails to form correctly.
Balloon valvuloplasty aims to fix
the pulmonary valve. The procedure uses a long, thin tube called a catheter. This tube
has an inflatable balloon at its tip. The healthcare provider puts this catheter through
a blood vessel in the groin. The catheter then goes all the way to the pulmonary valve.
The balloon is then inflated. It stretches the valve and helps open it up. Then blood
can flow out to the pulmonary artery without blockage.