COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Mitral Stenosis and Mitral Balloon Valvuloplasty

Mitral balloon valvuloplasty is performed on those with symptoms related to severe mitral stenosis, or the narrowing of the mitral valve.

What is mitral stenosis?

The mitral valve is between your left atrium (top chamber) and the left ventricle (bottom chamber)of your heart. Mitral stenosis is the narrowing of this heart valve. A normal mitral valve passes blood easily from the lungs to the mitral valve and into the left bottom chamber of the heart. When the mitral valve becomes narrow, the pressure increases and less blood flow moves forward with each heartbeat. Without as much oxygen-rich blood reaching your body, organs and muscles, you may see symptoms like:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Chest pressure

Causes of a narrowed heart valve can include calcium build-up or an infection like rheumatic fever.

How do I know if I need mitral balloon valvuloplasty or surgical mitral valve replacement?

If you have symptoms of severe mitral stenosis, you will need an evaluation to determine your treatment options. Evaluation may include a transesophageal echo (TEE) to look more closely at the mitral valve, an angiogram to look at the arteries of the heart and consultations with a cardiologist and/or a cardiac surgeon.

What is mitral balloon valvuloplasty?

One possible treatment option is a mitral valve balloon valvuloplasty. In this minimally invasive procedure, a catheter will deliver a specially designed balloon to the valve. The balloon will inflate to gradually expand and open the stiffened leaflets (flaps of tissue that make up your valve).

This procedure is often done with conscious sedation, which means most people can go home the day after their procedures.

Why undergo mitral balloon valvuloplasty?

A mitral balloon valvuloplasty can help improve the pressure across the valve and open the valve up to allow more forward blood flow with each heartbeat. Doing so can provide symptom relief. However, if the valve is too calcified, this procedure may not be an option. After a full evaluation, your cardiologist can provide recommendations and options safe for you.

Why choose our program?

At CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center, we are able to provide all necessary evaluations and options for relieving symptoms and keeping your heart strong.

If you have questions about our program, we would be happy to assist you. Please call us at 320-293-0750 or email us.