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mitral valve repair

At The Heart Valve Center of Texas, we offer several kinds of mitral valve repair procedures to restore mitral valve functioning. Traditionally, mitral valve repair is performed through open heart surgery. In open heart surgery, the surgeon opens the chest at the breastbone, stops the patient's heart, and connects the patient to a heart-lung machine. Although safe and effective, this method is invasive and requires a longer recovery period.

In addition to expertise in open valve surgery, the surgeons on our medical staff also specialize in minimally invasive repair of mitral valves. These procedures feature smaller incisions that are made between the ribs without cutting the breastbone. Smaller incisions tend to be less traumatic, decrease the risk of bleeding, cause less pain, shorter hospital stays, and quicker recovery times.

Some of the ways in which your surgeon can repair your mitral valve include:

  • Commissurotomy, in which valve leaflets (the flaps that open and close to keep blood moving in the right direction) that have become fused together are separated to allow the valve to open and close properly;
  • Decalcification, in which the surgeon removes calcium deposits from valve leaflets, allowing them to open and close properly;
  • Quadrangular or triangular resection, in which the surgeon removes a portion of a floppy valve leaflet and sews it back together, allowing the valve to close properly;
  • Annulus support, in which the surgeon sews a ring around the base of your mitral valve (annulus) that has become too wide to reshape and tighten it;
  • Patched leaflets, in which the surgeon patches tears or holes in valve leaflets to prevent leaking;
  • Valvuloplasty, a procedure similar to angioplasty, in which your physician uses a balloon-tipped catheter to widen a narrowed (stenotic) mitral valve. The catheter is inserted into a blood vessel through a small incision in the groin, advanced to the heart, positioned inside the narrowed portion of the valve, and inflated. As the balloon inflates, it pushes the walls of the mitral valve out, widening it and allowing more blood to flow through it after the balloon is removed.
  • MitraClip® insertion, which is a newer type of mitral valve repair. A physician inserts a catheter through a small needle puncture in the vein in the groin to deliver a small clip that is then attached to the leaflets of the mitral valve. The clip helps the valve by improving closure and reducing blood flow back through the valve (called regurgitation).

If you have a mitral valve condition and are in need of an evaluation and possible surgical treatment or if you are interested in other clinical trials that are available, talk to your physician or cardiologist about a referral to The Heart Valve Center of Texas.

Referring physicians may call 469.814.3480 to schedule a patient for evaluation. To learn about current research studies, please call 469.814.4720.

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