Pulmonary stenosis treatment

Pulmonary stenosis refers to a narrowing or blockage in or near the pulmonary valve in your child’s heart. 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 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, affiliated with the University of Louisville, is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.


The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region. With our network of remote diagnostic and treatment services in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, your child can stay close to home for quality care.


Depending on the treatment, your child may need to return to Norton Children’s Heart Institute for follow-up procedures. Your infant’s 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.


Pulmonary stenosis treatment options

The most common 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.


Why choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is ranked higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program.

  • Norton Children’s Hospital has been a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
  • Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiovascular surgeons are leaders in the field as clinicians and researchers.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to handle a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient centers in Bowling Green, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit is under construction to give our patients the most advanced cardiac intensive care unit available.
  • Our multidisciplinary approach to pediatric heart surgery brings together our specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, cardiac critical care and other areas to create a complete care plan tailored for your child.
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Norton Children’s Heart Institute

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