Mitral Valve Repair treats the narrowing or leakage of the Mitral Valve. The mitral valve is on the left side of the heart and is the "inflow valve". Oxygenated blood flows from the lungs through the pulmonary verins to the left atrium of the heart. The mitral valve allows blood to flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle, and then closes to prevent blood from leaking back to the left atrium or lungs when the ventricle contracts to pump blood out to the body.
Mitral valve repair includes the following techniques:
Annuloplasty: insertion of a cloth-covered ring around the valve to bring the flaps in contact with each other.
Quadrangular resection: removing the loose or redundant segments of the flaps.
Gore-Tex: re-suspension of the flaps with artificial cords.
Mitral valve procedures usually involve having to make an incision along the breastbone, but new advancements such as keyhole surgery decreases pain and scarring.
Why do you need this surgery?
Blood flows backwards into the lungs when the mitral valve leaks. This results in a condition known as volume overload, which mean that the ventricle has to work harder and pump more blood to ensure that the same amount of blood is pumped to the rest of the body. The heart would be able to sustain the effort needed for a length of time, but would eventually start to fail. Surgery would be required for severe Mitral valve regurgitation (MR).
The decision for a Mitral Valve Repair would lie with your doctor. In some cases, blood pressure medications can reduce and relieve the symptoms. Even without symptoms, sever mitral leakage detected by ECG may be warrant repair.
Following are conditions to which you would most likely require surgery:
You may require surgery if you do not have the signs and symptoms but you have:
How should you prepare for the surgery?
Please let your doctor know beforehand what medications you are on as some of these medicines may have to be stopped before the surgery.
If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking.
Give your doctor a list of your medical history, especially if you have any allergies if any.
Your doctor will see you to explain the details of the procedure to you and answer your questions should you have any.
What happens before the surgery?
You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery.
On the morning of the surgery, you will be ask to remove all accessories, dentures, undergarments etc.
You will be asked to empty your bladder just before the preoperative medication is given.
Preop medication which will help you to relax will then be given to you.
What happens during the surgery?
- You will be given general anaesthesia after entering the operating theatre
- An incision will be made down the middle of the chest
- The heart is then connected to a heart-lung machine
- An incision is made into the right atrium to expose the mitral valve.
- A section of the valve is removed, and the area is repaired with sutures.
- In a procedure called annuloplasty, a flexible fabric ring may be stitched to the outside of the valve to strengthen it.
What are the potential risks or complications?
There are always risks associated with general anaethesia. Risks associated with mitral valve repair are:
- Operative valvular endocarditis
What happens after the surgery?
- You will go to the intensive care unit (ICU) where you will stay for several days or as long as you need for observation
- Ventilation support will be discontinued when the patient is able to breath on his/her own.
- Tubes that were draining blood from your chest are removed as the bleeding from the surgical procedure decreases
- Anitbiotics will be given to you to prevent infection.
- If recovery is normal, you will be discharge within a week or so.
- At discharge, you will be given instructions on wound care and infection recognition.
- Have a relative or friend to pick you up on the day of your discharge
- Do go for your follow-up hospital visit that is scheduled three to four weeks after your discharge.
Back to Top