Is Mitral Valve Repair An Open-Heart Surgery?

Is Mitral Valve Repair An Open-Heart Surgery?

Treatment to cure mitral valve diseases depends on severity associated with your condition. Doctors often recommend you surgery for the repair and/or replacement of mitral valves. A large number of surgical procedures are available for both repair and replacement of mitral valves, including minimally invasive type of heart surgery and open-heart surgery.

Mitral Valve Repair Vs. Replacement

Before you should undergo surgery, your doctor and/or surgeon will discuss about both the treatment options available in detail. The decision about mitral valve repair or valve replacement depends on different factors. These include age of an individual, his/her overall health, exact reason behind valve damage and expected benefits from the surgery.

Along with this, repair or replacement decision depends on the extent of your problem. Accordingly, if your mitral valve becomes damaged or diseased, doctors recommend for its surgical repair for restoring its functions. However, a majority of research studies have revealed that surgical repair has plenty of benefits as compared to the replacement of a mitral valve. On the other side, valve replacement is recommendable in rare cases, where the valve suffers damage severely.

Open-Heart Surgery or Open Mitral Valve Repair Surgery

Open-heart surgery or open mitral valve repair surgery refers to a heart procedure performed by a qualified cardiac surgeon i.e. a doctor possessing specialization to cure heart conditions. On broad classification, doctors opt for two different surgical mitral valve repairs, which include-

Valve Repair. Valve repair involves various procedures related to curing of damaged leaflets, papillary muscles and chords based on the surgical reconstruction method.

Ring Annuloplasty. In case of ring annuloplasty surgery, doctors tighten the ring-like structure of one’s mitral valve also called as annulus by placing a flexible tissue, cloth or metallic ring across the damaged or diseased mitral valve.

Mitral valve repair and mitral valve replacement involve procedures performed to treat mitral valve diseases i.e. the valve present between one’s left heart chambers i.e. left ventricle and left atrium. An individual may experience varieties of mitral valve problems. For instance, in case of mitral valve regurgitation, leaflets or flats of one’s mitral valve fail to close tightly resulting in leakage of blood in backward direction within the left atrium.

This problem often takes place because of bulging back of valve leaflets i.e. a condition refers to mitral valve prolapse. Alternatively, individuals experience the problem of mitral valve stenosis, where leaflets become stiff or thick and fuse at the same time. This leads to narrowing of the mitral valve opening and reduction in the flow of blood from the valve.

When People Require Repair or Treatment?

Individuals with abnormal mitral valve require treatment based on either valve repair or valve replacement in case-

  • Symptoms related to the problem become worse
  • Enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle
  • Worsening of the cardiac functions

Mitral valve prolapse rarely leads to severe condition. However, in some of the cases, it causes abnormal heartbeat i.e. arrhythmias, which eventually becomes a life-threatening one. Whenever valve prolapse becomes enough severe to cause valve leakage, it results in various health complications, including stroke. This takes place because mitral valve causes leaks or regurgitates a huge amount of blood to form blood clots. Whenever such blood clots travel from one’s heart to the brain or to the arteries, it causes stroke or heart attack problem.

Conclusion

Surgically repairing instead of replacement results in mitral valve as sparing the surrounding structures, which remain attach to the heart’s valve and are essential to retain appropriate cardiac functions and its shape. Studies have revealed that removal of problematic structures at the time of valve replacement do not cause any adverse effect to the regular function of one’s heart. However, the function of such patient’s heart becomes weak after 10 years of his/her surgery.

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