Aortic Balloon Valvuloplasty

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Aortic balloon valvuloplasty is a procedure to open your aortic valve. This allows blood to flow more easily through your heart. The aortic valve is the door between the left ventricle and the aorta.


CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

  • You may bleed more than usual, develop an infection, or have trouble breathing. The artery in your groin may be damaged. The other valves or muscles in your heart could be damaged. The procedure may cause air bubbles, or pieces of calcium from the valve to be in your blood. These could cause a stroke or a heart attack. Your kidneys may stop working. You could have problems with your heartbeat. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening.

  • Even after this procedure, your aortic valve may grow narrow again over time. If this happens, you may need to have this procedure again or have heart surgery. Your shortness of breath, dizziness, passing out, and chest pain could get worse if you do not have the procedure. Your heart could get larger until it has problems pumping. Fluid could build up in your lungs, and your heart could fail.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

  • A chest x-ray may be done to check your lungs and heart before or after the procedure. Caregivers may also use the x-ray to look for signs of infection.

  • A dye may be injected into the catheter during your procedure. The dye helps to make arteries, heart chambers, and the valve easier for caregivers to see. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

During your procedure:

You will be given medicine in your IV to help you relax or make you drowsy. Local anesthesia will be used to numb your groin. You may still feel pressure or pushing during the procedure. A catheter with a balloon on the tip is inserted into an artery in your groin and threaded into your heart. You may have a fluttering feeling in your chest. This is caused by extra heartbeats once the catheter is in your heart. When the end of the catheter is in the aortic valve, the balloon is filled with liquid. This forces the valve to open so blood can flow more freely.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. A bandage will cover the area where the catheter went in. This bandage puts pressure on your groin to prevent bleeding. A caregiver will check for bleeding or bruising. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room.

  • You must lie flat in bed for 6 to 8 hours after the procedure. Keep your leg straight and do not move around. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says you can.

  • Ice helps decrease swelling and pain, and may help prevent tissue damage. Caregivers will use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. They will cover it with a towel and place it on your groin for 15 to 20 minutes every hour.

  • You may need to wear pressure stockings or inflatable boots after surgery. The stockings are tight and put pressure on your legs. The boots have an air pump that tightens and loosens different areas of the boots. Both of these improve blood flow and help prevent clots.

  • Deep breathing and coughing will decrease your risk for a lung infection. Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can. Let the air out and then cough strongly. Deep breaths help open your airway. You may be given an incentive spirometer to help you take deep breaths. Put the plastic piece in your mouth and take a slow, deep breath, then let the air out and cough. Repeat these steps 10 times every hour.

  • Medicines:

    • Antianxiety medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.

    • Pain medicine may be given to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Aortic Balloon Valvuloplasty (Inpatient Care)

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