Various types of heart valve repair are available to treat heart valve disease.
- Valvuloplasty describes techniques performed to make sure the valve leaflets attain proper closure.
- Commissurotomy is a valvuloplasty performed on valve leaflets. A scalpel is used to cut the leaflets if they are fused together at the junction site between adjacent valve leaflets (commissures).
- A balloon catheter is sometimes used to open stenotic valves. The catheter is inflated in a valve to split the commissures and open the leaflets.
- Annuloplasty repairs the annulus, or the ring of tissue at the base of each valve that supports the valve and leaflets. Sometimes, the surgeon will sew sutures around the annulus to prevent regurgitation. In some cases, an annuloplasty ring can be implanted to help repair the annulus.
Illustrated by David DiAngelis Copyright © Body1, Inc.
Last updated: 14-Aug-07