Recently, Dr. William T. Gray and Dr. Fernando J. Colato, physicians with Central Texas Heart Center, performed the first cardiac Balloon Valvuloplasty procedure in the region at St. Joseph Regional Health Center (SJRHC). This first procedure was performed on 88 year-old patient who has lived with a heart murmur all her life. She was hospitalized repetitively for congestive heart failure resulting from the severity of her valvular disease prior to the procedure. Her health also began to fade following a long illness and this procedure was determined to be the answer for improvement.
Following the procedure, the patient’s health did improve and she has not returned to the hospital. Since this first procedure was performed, several other patients have also undergone the procedure, all with positive outcomes, indicating that there is a need in our region for this particular procedure.
This procedure is typically performed to open a heart valve that has become stiff and narrowed. It is helpful to prevent repeat hospitalizations in patients who are not candidates for traditional valve replacement surgery. Additionally, valvuloplasty can be used as a bridge until surgery can be done for a patient who is too sick to have open-heart surgery.