Valvuloplasty: what can it treat, and how is it performed?

Written by: Dr Jonathan Byrne
Edited by: Conor Lynch

Top Doctors recently spoke to distinguished London-based interventional cardiologist, Dr Jonathan Byrne, to discuss at length what a valvuloplasty procedure entails, what conditions the operation can help to treat, as well as how exactly it is performed.

What is a valvuloplasty?

A valvuloplasty is a procedure that is performed in order to repair a heart valve that has a narrowed opening. The procedure is designed to improve the blood flow through the patient’s heart valve and it may also improve symptoms associated with heart valve disease, such as shortness of breath and/or chest pain.


What conditions can it treat?

A valvuloplasty can treat many conditions. The main ones include the following:


  • aortic valve stenosis
  • mitral valve stenosis
  • pulmonary valve stenosis (pulmonic stenosis)
  • tricuspid valve stenosis


How is a valvuloplasty performed?

This procedure is carried out in the hospital, usually while the patient is awake. A sedative may be used to help the patient relax if required.


Valvuloplasty is performed during a procedure called cardiac catheterisation, whereby the cardiologist inserts a soft, thin tube called a catheter, which is then tipped with a balloon into a blood vessel, usually in the groin.


The catheter is then carefully guided to the narrowed valve in the heart, and once it is in position, the balloon is inflated to widen the valve, improving blood flow. The balloon is then deflated, and the catheter with the balloon is removed.


What is recovery time like?

After the procedure, an overnight hospital stay is usually required. Regular health check-ups and imaging tests of the heart are needed after valvuloplasty to make sure the heart valve is working properly.


This procedure may improve blood flow through the heart and reduce symptoms. However, the valve may narrow again. You may need to have another valvuloplasty or other heart procedure, such as valve repair or replacement, in the future, if this is the case.


Dr Jonathan Byrne is a highly qualified and revered interventional cardiologist who specialises in performing valvuloplasty procedures. Consult with him today via his Top Doctors profile

By Dr Jonathan Byrne

Dr Jonathan Byrne is a leading interventional cardiologist who specialises in the treatment of coronary artery disease. He is an expert in the treatment of patients with angina, heart failure, heart rhythm disturbances and high blood pressure. He practises at the Cleveland Clinic, King's Private, OneWelbeck and the Sloane Hospital, all located in London. He also practises at the King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where he is the Clinical Director of Cardiovascular Services.

Dr Byrne treats patients with valvular heart disease using new treatments which do not require an operation, such as TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation) and MitraClip (percutaneous treatment of the mitral valve).
He is also highly experienced in a number of imaging tests for the heart, including transoesophageal echocardiography and cardiac CT scanning.
Dr Byrne completed his undergraduate medical training at the University of Bristol, receiving his MB ChB in 1995. He then continued general professional medical training in South East England and London, where he received his MRCP in 1999. He then completed his PHD at the academic department of Cardiology at King’s College Hospital, examining molecular mechanisms underlying left ventricular hypertrophy. Dr Byrne continued his training in interventional cardiology at King’s College Hospital from 2004. He went on to become a Boston Scientific sponsored Interventional Fellow on Vancouver Island, Canada.
Since appointment as a consultant in July 2008, Dr Byrne has also been involved in the development of the structural programme at King’s College Hospital, with the use of novel percutaneous techniques to treat aortic and mitral valve disease.
He is a member of the British Cardiovascular Intervention Society, the British Cardiovascular Society, the Royal Society of Medicine (Cardiology), the British Heart Valve Association and the Medical Defence Union.
When he is not treating patients, Dr Byrne carries out research on different cardiology treatments.

View Profile

Overall assessment of their patients

  • Related procedures
  • Heart attack
    Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    Heart failure
    Injury valves
    Heart murmur
    Ambulatory electrocardiogram (Holter)
    This website uses our own and third-party Cookies to compile information with the aim of improving our services, to show you advertising related to your preferences as well analysing your browsing habits. You can change your settings HERE.