Surgery For Mitral Valve Disease

Mitral valve disease is a medical condition in which the mitral valve does not function properly.[1] Mitral valve is located in between the two chambers of the left side of the heart. It regulates the flow of the blood from the left atrium and left ventricle. Mitral valve disease happens because of hardening of the mitral valve that prevents its closure or too loosening of the valve that leads to backflow of the blood in the left atrium from the left ventricle.[2] Mitral valve surgery is done to repair and replace the mitral valve. It is performed either by minimally invasive surgery or open surgery.

Surgery For Mitral Valve Disease

Surgery performed for mitral valve disease can be done by following ways-

Minimal Invasive Heart Surgery– in this mitral valve procedure, 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.

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

Open Heart Surgery– in this procedure, a large incision is made on the chest to reach the heart. It is preferred when the mitral valve is damaged and needs to be replaced.[3]

Types Of Mitral Valve Disease Surgery

Mitral Valve Repair

This type of mitral valve disease surgery is conducted when the mitral valve don’t close tightly. It can be repaired. In this type of surgery, the part of the mitral valve is removed that don’t close properly. The edges and circumference of the valve are stitched with a band to support the valve.

In this technique, valve leaflets are reconnected, excess valve tissue is removed, and holes in the valve are patched. Cords that support the valve are replaced to provide structural strength to the valve. Fused leaflets that are fused together are separated. This helps in tight closure of the valve. In some cases, the ring around the valve (annulus) is tightened by a procedure named annuloplasty.

This procedure is selected for the patients who suffer from severe mitral valve regurgitation and who are prone to develop complications after surgery.[4]

Mitral Valve Replacement

This type of mitral valve disease surgery is recommended in the cases where the mitral valve is too tight, stiff and fused that they can’t be repaired. The mitral valve is replaced by a mechanical valve or valve made from the tissues of cow, pig or the human heart. In this procedure, the cords that support the valve are preserved, and not replaced. Biological valves prepared from the tissues of cow, pig or human heart tissue need to be replaced frequently due to their degenerative properties.

This procedure is selected in the cases of severe mitral valve stenosis where mitral valve is unable to function no longer.[5]

Mitral valve disease is a disorder of mitral valve of the heart that cannot function properly. In this disease, mitral valve cannot open properly for the flow of blood from left atrium to left ventricle. Mitral valve disease is of two types-

Mitral Valve Regurgitation– it is a condition marked by improper closing of the mitral valve. This leads to backflow of blood from left ventricle into the left atrium when the heart contracts.

Mitral Valve Stenosis– it is a condition in which mitral valve is fused or thick or stiff that narrow down the opening. This results in the reduction in the flow of blood between the left atrium and left ventricle.[6]


Mitral valve surgery is needed to correct the mitral valve disease. It is the surgery in which the mitral valve is either repaired or replaced. This can be done with minimally invasive, robot-assisted or open surgery. The selection of the type of surgery depends on the condition of the mitral valve.


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