Balloon valvuloplasty is a viable alternative for patients with non-calcific mitral stenosis and is equivalent to closed mitral commisurotomy (a more invasive surgical procedure). Balloon aortic valvuloplaty is indicated in patients with severe aortic stenosis who are not candidates for aortic valve replacement (due to age, co-morbid condition, …). Both procedures are performed percuatneouly by positioning a balloon across the valve and inflating it to dilate the valve architecture. The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center offers both procedures and has pioneered the use of these procedures. More Recently, Catheter based valve repair and implantation (E-Valve, Corevalve, Edwards) have been developed and are being studied at BIDMC.

Mitral stenosis is a disabling and eventually lethal disease. If untreated, significant symptoms (eg, dyspnea and fatigue) and serious complications (eg, pulmonary edema, systemic arterial embolism, and pulmonary hypertension) occur. Medical therapy can relieve symptoms but do not affect the obstruction to flow. Surgical commissurotomy and open valvuloplasty were, for many years, the only methods by which mitral stenosis could be corrected, However, the development of percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty has revolutionized the treatment of this disorder and largely replaced surgery for mitral stenosis. A balloon is advanced from the venous circulation to the right atrium, across the interatrial septum to the left atrium, and across the stenotic mitral valve. Inflation and rapid deflation of the balloon opens the stenotic valve.