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Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

Contact Information

(608) 263-6311

(608) 263-6420

The pulmonary valve directs blood from the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery (the large vessel that carries oxygen-poor blood to the lungs). In pulmonary valve stenosis, the pulmonary valve is narrowed (stenotic), and less blood flows from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery, and on to the lungs.
 
Concerns and Symptoms
 
In patients with pulmonary stenosis, the right ventricle has to work harder to pump blood through the narrow pulmonary valve. This may cause the heart muscle to enlarge and become less able to pump blood to the lungs effectively.

Symptoms may include:
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heavy or rapid breathing
  • Or a blue color in the skin (cyanosis)
  • Some patients may also have an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia)

Treatment

 

In some cases, pulmonary stenosis can be treated by inserting a balloon through the narrow area and inflating it, thereby opening up the stenosis. This type of procedure is performed by interventional cardiologists.

 

In other cases, surgical repair of the valve is necessary. The operation is performed under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep during surgery.

 

First, the surgeon makes a vertical incision in the front of the chest, opens the breastbone, and exposes the heart. Blood from the heart is redirected to a bypass machine. The bypass machine does the job of the heart and lungs during the operation.

 

Then, the surgeon reconstructs the pulmonary valve to allow blood to pass through more easily.

 

After the valve is repaired and the heart closed , the surgeon shuts down the heart-lung bypass machine, and the heart starts beating again. The surgeon then closes the breastbone and chest incision, and applies bandages to the incision site.

Recovery