Mitral valves can be repaired without the need for substitution or replacement.
Mitral valve regurgitation occurs when the valve does not close completely, causing blood to leak back into the left atrium. The most common diseases that cause degenerative mitral valve disease are Barlow’s disease and fibroelastic deficiency.
The most common leaflet dysfunction in degenerative valve disease is excess motion of the margin of the leaflet in relation to the annular plane. The lesions in degenerative valve disease that result in this dysfunction are usually chordae elongation or rupture. Annular dilatation is almost always an associated finding.
Advantages of mitral valve repair: Why repair is better than replacement
Mitral valve repair is the best option for nearly all patients with a leaking (regurgitant) mitral valve. Compared to valve replacement, mitral valve repair provides better long-term survival, better preservation of heart function, lower risk of complications, and usually eliminates the need for long-term use of blood thinners (anticoagulants). For these reasons, we are committed to mitral valve repair, whenever possible.
Problems with the posterior leaflet are generally corrected by a small resection of the abnormal portion of the valve. Anterior leaflet dysfunction is managed by the creation of new chords or chordal transfer. Anterior leaflet repair techniques are technically challenging, as they require a skilled and experienced surgical team to achieve the best results. All repairs include an annuloplasty, which is a complete or partial ring placed around the circumference (rim) of the valve.
In patients with mitral valve prolapse, our success rate in avoiding mitral valve replacement approaches 100%. The operations are performed with full sternotomy or are minimally invasive, thus ensuring rapid recovery.