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.
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- 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.
The week before your procedure:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- You may need blood tests before your procedure. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time and location for each test.
- 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.
The night before your procedure:
Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your procedure:
- Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
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 the 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.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your procedure.
- You have a fever.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery.
Seek Care Immediately if
- The problems for which you are having the procedure get worse.
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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.