Another treatment option that is less invasive than valve repair/replacement surgery is balloon valvuloplasty or valvotomy.
Valvuloplasty is performed, in certain circumstances, to open a stenotic (stiff) heart valve. In valvuloplasty, a very small, narrow, hollow tube, or catheter, is advanced from a blood vessel in the groin through the aorta into the heart.
Once the catheter is placed in the valve to be opened, a large balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated until the leaflets (flaps) of the valve are opened. Once the valve has been opened, the balloon is deflated and the catheter is removed.
Other related procedures that may be used to assess and treat the heart include: