Reconstructive or repair surgery on a defective heart valve (see heart-valve surgery). Valvuloplasty may be performed as open heart surgery. However, the technique of balloon valvuloplasty makes it possible to treat a narrowed valve without opening the chest. A balloon catheter is passed through the skin into a blood vessel and from there to the heart. Inflation of the balloon via the catheter then separates the flaps of a narrowed valve.


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