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Commissurotomy of heart valves is called valvulotomy, valvotomy,[1] valvuloplasty, or valvoplasty and consists of making one or more incisions at the edges of the commissure formed between the two or three valve leaflets, which relieves the constriction of valvular stenosis (especially mitral valve stenosis).

As with many other kinds of surgery, valvular commissurotomy may be done by either open or minimally invasive approaches, and sometimes (but not invariably) the terms surgery and surgical are understood to refer only to the open types, with the minimally invasive types then being referred to as interventional procedures. The minimally invasive approach is through the lumen of a vessel with a catheter, which is why it is often called a transluminal or transcatheter approach. Such approaches begin with a small skin incision to access a vessel that will lead to the heart, making them percutaneous approaches, and they use balloons whose inflation moves the valve leaflets. Thus, altogether, they are called by names such as percutaneous balloon valvulotomy, percutaneous balloon mitral valvuloplasty, percutaneous aortic balloon valvotomy, and so forth.

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  1. ^ TheFreeDictionary > valvotomy Citing: WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.