Mitral Valve Regurgitation: Repair or Replace the Valve
To treat mitral valve regurgitation surgically, the options are to repair or replace the mitral valve.
Repair of the heart valve usually is the preferred surgery instead of replacement of the valve.
Valve replacement may be recommended if your mitral valve is seriously damaged and cannot be repaired.
The decision about whether to repair or replace a valve is based on many things, including your general health, the condition of the damaged valve, the presence of other health conditions, and the expected benefits of surgery. In some cases, the decision clearly may be in favor of repair or in favor of replacement.
When is valve repair recommended?
Repair is typically preferred over replacement. Repair for mitral valve regurgitation:1
Repair is more successful if there is not a lot of damage to certain areas of the mitral valve flaps (leaflets) or to the tough fibers that control movement of the mitral valve leaflets (chordae tendineae).
Mitral valve repair is usually preferred if your valve is suitable for reconstruction and the surgeon has the appropriate level of experience and surgical skill.
The advantages of mitral valve repair include the following:
When is valve replacement recommended?
Examples of serious damage or complicated conditions that might lead to mitral valve replacement include:
Replacement surgery is usually preferred if you have a hard, calcified mitral valve ring (annulus) or widespread damage to the valve and surrounding tissue.
The disadvantages of mitral valve replacement include the following:
If you choose mitral valve replacement, your surgeon will preserve as much of the valve as possible. Doing so provides a greater chance of success after surgery. Keeping the valve's base intact reduces the amount of foreign structures to which the heart must grow accustomed after replacement surgery.
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