Mitral Valve Repair- Cardiology

Doctors: Cardiologist, Cardiac Surgeon

What is mitral valve?

The mitral valve is a one-way valve which conducts blood flow through the left side of the heart. When this valve is open, it allows oxygenated blood from the lungs to fill the left ventricle of the heart. Left ventricle of the heart is the main pumping chamber. When the left ventricle squeezes to deliver blood to rest of the body, the mitral valve closes to prevent blood from flowing back toward the lungs.

If the heart’s mitral valve is not functioning properly, it allows the blood to flow back towards the lungs. This condition is called mitral regurgitation or insufficiency.

The procedure:

Patients with mitral regurgitation may require the surgery to repair the mitral valve. In most cases, an open-heart surgery is performed. Before the surgery, patient is given anesthesia. During the surgery, the chest is opened to operate on the heart.

Depending on the type of the defect, one or more of the following procedures may be implemented during the surgery:

  • Removal of extra tissue to resize the valve
  • Removal of calcium deposits that might have built up around the valve leaflets
  • Improve the movements of the valve leaflets by repairing the chords
  • Reattachment of the valve to its chords
  • Addition of extra tissue to support the base of the valve (annulus)

Many surgeons prefer to perform “minimally invasive procedure”. During this procedure, a small incision is made in the breastbone (sternum) or under the right pectoral muscle in the chest.

During the majority of the surgeries, patient’s heart is temporarily stopped and patient is put on a heart/lung machine that takes over the breathing and blood circulation.

Once the surgery is completed, the heart starts begin beating again all incisions are closed.

What to expect after the procedure?

After the surgery, patient is moved to intensive care unit. Patient is monitored carefully for next several days. Depending on the patient’s condition, he/she will be permitted to go home from the hospital.



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About the Author:

Dr. Anand Lakhkar is a physician scientist from India. He completed his basic medical education from India and his postgraduate training in pharmacology from the United States. He has a MS degree in pharmacology from New York Medical College, a MS degree in Cancer/Neuro Pharmacology from Georgetown University and a PhD in Pharmacology from New York Medical College where he was the recipient of the Graduate Faculty Council Award for academic and research excellence.  His research area of expertise is in pulmonary hypertension, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular pharmacology.  He has multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research at at prestigious conferences.