Mitral valve surgery is a procedure performed to treat severe cases of mitral valve diseases. Mitral valve disease is a medical condition characterized by improper functioning of the mitral valve to open or close during each heart contractions. Mitral valve disease may disrupt the flow of blood in left chambers of the heart. Mitral valve surgery is conducted in severe cases where the patient experiences severe symptoms and other modes of treatment fail to provide relief. Like other surgeries, mitral valve surgery has side effects apart from benefits.

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Is Mitral Valve Surgery Dangerous?

Mitral valve surgery is not dangerous in every case. It may carry certain risks that may harm your health and needs to be sorted out soon. If this surgery leads to formation of blood clots that may block heart or brain blood vessels, then it may lead to heart attack or stroke and then cardiac or brain failure resulting in death.

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Mitral valve surgery is done to repair and replace the mitral valve. It is performed either by minimally invasive surgery or open surgery. Surgery performed for mitral valve disease can be done by following ways-

Minimal Invasive Heart Surgery- in this mitral valve surgery, small incisions are made in the side of the chest between the ribs to approach the heart. Surgeons use long instruments to operate the mitral valves with the help of long instruments.

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Robot-Assisted Heart Surgery- in this mitral valve surgery, surgeon is seated at a remote place and uses a monitor to view the heart. Here surgeon uses robotic arms to perform the operation. A surgical team helps at the surgical table.

Open Heart Surgery- in this mitral valve surgery, a large incision is made on the chest to reach the heart. It is preferred when mitral valve is damaged and needs to be replaced.

Types Of Mitral Valve Surgery

Valve Repair- Mitral valve repair may be recommended in the cases where the mitral valves are not damaged completely and there is scope to repair them. This procedure preserves the mitral valve and promotes heart function. This procedure involves patching of holes in the vale, reconnection of flaps of the valve, removal of excess tissue from the valves, replacement of the cords that support the valve and tightening of the ring around the valve.

Valve Replacement- This mitral valve surgery is recommended in the case where there is no scope of repair of the mitral valve and it is completely damaged. The mitral valve is replaced by a mechanical valve or biological tissue valve prepared from heart tissues of cow, pig or human. If a mechanical valve is transplanted in the patient, then the patient has to consume blood-thinning medicines throughout his rest of life for the prevention of blood clots. In the patient is having biological valves, then, these valves are frequently replaced as they degenerate with time.

The risk or side effects of mitral valve surgery are-

  • Bad reaction to anesthetics
  • Bleeding from heart vessels due to their damage during and after treatment
  • Infection at the site of the incision
  • Heart infection like endocarditis
  • Infection in the new replacement valve
  • Irregular heart rhythm or requirement for a permanent pacemaker
  • Dysfunction of the replacement valve
  • Pneumonia and other lung problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Pancreatitis
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke due to the formation of clots
  • Death

Conclusion

Mitral valve surgery is recommended in severe cases of mitral valve disease that do not improve with other modes of treatment. The outcome of the surgery is good and it possesses some side effects as other surgeries have. When blood clots are formed due to the surgical procedure, then, it may travel to blood vessels of heart and brain, leading to heart blockage or stroke. This may result in heart failure or brain failure, leading to death.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 5, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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