If you decide on surgery to repair your
mitral valve stenosis, you and your doctor will need
to select either a balloon valvotomy or a mitral commissurotomy. In spite of
similar success rates, a balloon valvotomy is generally preferred to mitral
commissurotomy as long as the doctor is experienced with the procedure.
Balloon valvotomy is catheter-based, not surgical, and has a lower risk
of complications and death than mitral commissurotomy. But a balloon valvotomy
done by an inexperienced cardiologist has approximately the same
percentage of negative outcomes as that seen with a commissurotomy. So
it is important that you have your balloon valvotomy done at a medical
center that routinely does a large number of these procedures.
It’s dramatic when someone has a heart attack on television or in the movies. But in real life, symptoms can be more subtle and difficult to identify. And because heart attack and angina symptoms are so similar, it may be hard to tell what's going on.
But knowing the differences -- and the reasons behind them -- can result in seeking treatment sooner, and living longer.
Both procedures have risks, but the risks are rare. Most commonly,
"cracking open" valve leaflets will cause the valve to begin to leak, causing
mitral regurgitation. There is also a slight chance
that a blood clot will develop in your heart and cause a
stroke. But the most common problem with both
procedures is that they typically need to be repeated after 10 or 20 years
because the valve becomes narrowed again. At this point, you may need a valve
replacement due to damage done to the leaflets during the earlier
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
February 10, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
February 10, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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