pulmonary stenosis is when the pulmonary valve doesn’t fully open.
This health problem is present from birth. Congenital pulmonary stenosis surgery aims to
fix this problem. It is a type of 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 lies the pulmonary valve. It’s 1 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 helps the blood flow from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery.
Sometimes a person will have an abnormally thickened or fused valve at birth. 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 harm the overworked heart muscle and lead to symptoms. Sometimes, the area around the valve also doesn’t form in the right way.
No one knows what causes most cases of congenital pulmonary stenosis. It sometimes happens along with Noonan syndrome. This is a genetic disease. Or it may happen with other heart defects.
Several types of surgery can help fix congenital pulmonary stenosis. In some cases, the surgeon may do a valvectomy. That’s when the surgeon removes the old pulmonary valve and replaces it with a new valve. The new valve may be artificial or from a cadaver donor. The surgeon might also use a special patch to help rebuild the area around the valve.
Another choice is valvotomy. The surgeon makes an incision in the pulmonary valve to make the opening to the pulmonary artery larger. It helps the blood flow more easily into the pulmonary artery.