A balloon mitral valvuplasty (BMV), is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat severe mitral stenosis (narrowing of the left ventricle valve) alongside medications or used as a interim procedure while you await your surgery.

What is balloon mitral valvuplasty? 

Balloon mitral valvuplasty (BMV), is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat severe mitral stenosis (narrowing of the left ventricle valve) alongside medications and/or used as a bridging procedure while you await further heart surgery.

The procedure is done by inserting a small flexible tube called a catheter into the vessel through your groin. A balloon catheter will be threaded across the mitral valve and will be inflated briefly for a few seconds, during which the mitral valve will be stretched.

This will allow the mitral valve to move more freely. When the mitral valve is more flexible, this improves blood flow through your heart and the rest of your body. X-ray machines and ultrasound are used to help guide the doctor as they are threading the catheter.

Where would I undergo a BMV and what is involved in the process?

In Fraser Health, the hospital that provides this service is Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.

If you have severe mitral stenosis, you will be referred by your cardiologist to specialist in interventional cardiology to be evaluated for the procedure. The interventional cardiologist will provide you with specific preparation instructions for this procedure at that time. The procedure is approximately one to two hours long, but this can vary. The procedure is most cases is done with local anesthetic, but for more complicated procedures general anesthesia can be used.

You might be kept overnight in the hospital for observation. Your length of stay is up to your doctor. Your family can be with you before and after the procedure, but not during. You will be provided with discharge instructions before you go home.

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