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Mitral Valve Disease

Mitral valve is located between the upper left chamber or left auricle and the lower left chamber or left ventricle. It has two flaps or leaflets.

Types of Mitral Valve Disease include:

Mitral regurgitation

When the heart beats and blood in the left lower chamber, which is supposed to be pumped out towards the other parts of the body, leaks back to the left upper chamber, a condition called mitral regurgitation exists. It could be due to weak valve flaps (the mitral valve has two). Sometimes the flaps even protrude backwards, a condition known as mitral prolapse.

Mitral stenosis

Mitral stenosis is a condition when the mitral valve does not fully open thereby allowing only a small amount of blood to pass through from the left auricle to the left ventricle. It could be that the flaps of the valve got stuck to each other (fused), or they may have stiffened or hardened due to scars, calcified deposits or plaques.

Treatment of Mitral Valve Disease

Mitral valve repair is a surgical procedure performed for the management of mitral valve stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (leakage). The mitral valve is situated between the two left chambers (left atrium and left ventricle) of the heart. In mitral valve regurgitation, there is improper closure of the mitral valve allowing the backward flow of blood into the heart. In most cases the defective mitral valve can be repaired. Most of these surgeries are performed through the minimally invasive approach, ensuring a rapid recovery.

Advantages of Mitral Valve Repair

Mitral valve repair has several benefits as compared to mitral valve replacement; few of them have been listed below:

  • Ensures better long term survival rates
  • Improved lifestyle
  • Improved heart function
  • Reduced risk of stroke and infection
  • Avoids the need for long-term use of blood thinners

There are several different ways to perform minimally invasive mitral valve surgery. Mitral valve surgery can be carried out through a 2-3 inch incision, made over the right side of the chest. The minimally-invasive robotic-assisted valve surgery uses even smaller incisions. In a few patients, another approach employing an incision over the middle of the chest for better exposure may be used.

Mitral Valve Repair Surgery — Surgical Techniques

  • Mitral Valve Posterior Leaflet Prolapse — Valve Repair Surgery: Posterior leaflet prolapse is most commonly corrected by a triangular resection technique. Here an abnormal portion of the valve is removed.
  • Mitral Valve Anterior Leaflet Prolapse — Valve Repair Surgery: Anterior leaflet prolapse can be corrected by creating artificial cords or by chordal transfer from another part of the valve.

The techniques of mitral valve repair also include annuloplasty, where a partial or C-shaped ring is placed along the circumference of the mitral valve.

  • Leesburg Regional Medical Center
  • The Villages Regional Hospital