Aortic valvuloplasties are sometimes performed when a buildup of calcium makes the aortic valve
stiff. It is a procedure often performed on elderly patients or others
for whom surgery is not an option. In these patients an aortic valvuloplasty
can provide symptomatic relief and a greatly improved quality of life,
and can also be performed as a preparation for an aortic valve replacement.
Similar to angioplasty, a balloon catheter is threaded through an artery
and into the aortic valve and then inflated to open the valve. Once the
valve is opened the balloon is deflated and removed from the artery.
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