How Is A Mitral Valve Repair Done?
Mitral valve repair is a procedure that may be done to treat the abnormalities or defects of the mitral valve. Mitral valve is situated between both the left chambers of the heart - the left atrium and the left ventricle. Various types of mitral valve abnormalities exist. Some of them are - mitral valve prolapse, in which the valves do not close tightly and the leaflets get back into the left atrium, mitral valve regurgitation, which is cause as a result of mitral valve prolapse (regurgitation is a process in which the blood flows backwards into the left atrium when it is supposed to flow only forward in the left ventricle and thereafter) and mitral valve stenosis, in which the valve becomes narrow and the valve leaflets become stiff does not open completely.
The treatment of the mitral valve depends upon the severity of the condition and the symptoms exhibited. Many people do not need any treatment at all as there may not be any symptoms present. However, doctors may recommend surgery if the symptoms are severe or if regurgitation is severe even in absence of symptoms. The focus of the treatment is mainly on reducing the symptoms, improving the heart function and prevent any future complications.
How Is A Mitral Valve Repair Done?
Mitral valve repair surgery is done for various reasons. It may be done to reconnect the valve leaflets, closing of holes in the valve, removing excess valve tissue, repairing the structural support by repairing the cords that support the valves, separating fused valve supports etc. the ring around the valves may be needed to be tightened, which is accomplished through annuloplasty.
Mitral valve repair can be performed in different ways-
- Certain procedures use a long thin tube known as catheter and clips or other devices
- In one of the procedures, surgeons use a catheter with a clip attached to it and insert this catheter in an artery through the groin and up to the mitral valve. The clip is used to reshape the valve. Those who are not fit for a surgery or those who have a severe regurgitation, may be considered for this procedure
- The catheter may also be used to plug any leakages in the mitral valve
- If the valve has a narrowed opening, it may be treated with the help of a catheter using the procedure called balloon valvuloplasty. In this procedure a catheter with a balloon at its tip are inserted through an artery and guided up to the valve. The balloon is then inflated, and it expands the narrow opening of the valve. Once the results are achieved, the balloon is deflated, and the balloon and the catheter are removed from the artery.
Post-Operative Routine- After the repair is done, you may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two, depending upon how stable you are after the surgery. You will be monitored for any signs of complications. At the time of discharge, the doctor will guide you about your diet and exercise, lifestyle changes, medications and future visits to the hospital.
Outcome Of The Repair Procedure- After the mitral valve repair, you may be able to get back to your daily activities like working, driving etc. your doctor will guide you on when you can return to your routine activities and precautions if any. You may need to continue medications for some days, though.
Mitral valve repair is done to treat any abnormalities related to the mitral valve in the heart. These abnormalities include mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve regurgitation and mitral valve stenosis. You may not present with any symptoms at all for many years and may not need any treatment at all however, if the symptoms are severe or start abruptly or in order to avoid future complications, your doctor may recommend a surgery to repair the mitral valve.