Valvuloplasty is a nonsurgical procedure that can open a narrowed heart valve (stenosis). Valvuloplasty can be used on three of the four heart valves: the mitral, aortic, or pulmonary valves.
Valvuloplasty is very similar to angioplasty, which opens up blocked blood vessels. The procedure is performed in a cardiac catheterization lab using an X-ray and a dye injected into the bloodstream. A catheter is inserted into the leg and passed through the bloodstream to the heart, where pressure measurements are taken. A balloon is quickly inflated and deflated within the valve as many as two to three times to stretch open the valve.