Pulmonary stenosis treatment in infants and children addresses a narrowing or blockage in pulmonary valve area. Mild pulmonary stenosis typically doesn’t require treatment. In moderate to severe cases, treatment can range from a minimally invasive balloon valvuloplasty to valve replacement surgery.
The leaflets in the pulmonary valve that allow blood to flow to the lungs without backing into the heart may be thick or narrow. Sometimes the pulmonary artery just past the valve is narrow. Sometimes the muscle under the valve is thick and makes it difficult for blood to flow out of the right ventricle. All of these are various forms of pulmonary stenosis.
The severity of pulmonary stenosis is measured by how much the blood flow is obstructed.
The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the experience and skill to precisely diagnose your child’s pulmonary stenosis, measure its severity and create a custom treatment plan.
Norton Children’s Heart Institute is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has rated Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region. Norton Children’s Heart Institute has a network of remote diagnostic and treatment services in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Depending on the pulmonary stenosis treatment, your child may need to return to Norton Children’s Heart Institute for follow-up procedures. The cardiothoracic surgeon may not replace the pulmonary valve right away. Your child’s physician may recommend pulmonary valve replacement later in life.
Regardless of the treatment path, your child will need regular pediatric cardiology care and adult congenital heart care.
Options for Pulmonary Stenosis Treatment in Infants and Children
The most common pulmonary stenosis treatment is a balloon valvuloplasty. This minimally invasive procedure takes place in the Norton Children’s Heart Institute pediatric catheterization lab.
A specially trained interventional pediatric cardiologist inserts a catheter — a thin tube — with a tiny deflated balloon on the end through your child’s groin into a blood vessel. The interventional pediatric cardiologist threads the catheter through the blood vessel until it gets to the site of the narrow valve or artery, then gently inflates the balloon to stretch the narrowed area and make it wider.
Other pulmonary stenosis treatments include:
- Valvotomy or valvuloplasty: This procedure removes any scar tissue in the pulmonary valve leaflets that prevents them from opening properly.
- Transannular patch: To relieve the stenosis, the surgeon cuts the right ventricle below the pulmonary valve to widen it, also widening the pulmonary valve, and extends the incision to widen the pulmonary artery. The surgeon then sews in a patch to mend the gap left by the widened area.
- Pulmonary valve replacement: This procedure may be needed to repair a leaky pulmonary valve. The pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Heart Institute will discuss the different valve replacement options and pick the best one for your child.