Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Mitral Valve Regurgitation - Surgery

With chronicmitral valve regurgitation (MR), surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve might be recommended. Whether surgery is right for you depends on many things including the cause of MR.

With acute MR, urgent surgery to repair or replace the valve is usually needed. In some cases, surgery to correct the cause of acute MR may also be needed.

Chronic regurgitation

Primary MR. Surgery is the only cure for primary MR, because the abnormal shape of the mitral valve is causing the regurgitation.

Your doctor will check many things to see if surgery is right for you. Your doctor may check to see if:

  • Your valve can be repaired with surgery.
  • You have symptoms.
  • You have severe regurgitation.
  • Your heart has pumping problems (low ejection fraction).
  • Your left ventricle is larger than normal.

Repair is typically preferred over replacement. The decision between repairing or replacing the valve depends on the type of damage you have. For more information, see the topic Mitral Valve Regurgitation: Repair or Replace the Valve.

Secondary MR. Surgery cannot cure secondary MR, because another heart problem is causing the mitral valve to not close properly. Treatment of the heart problem, such as heart failure, may be the right treatment for you. Some people might benefit from surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve.

Your doctor will check many things to see if surgery is right for you. Your doctor may check to see if:


To repair the valve, the surgeon may:

  • Reshape the valve by removing excess valve tissue.
  • Add support to the valve ring by adding tissue or a collar-shaped structure around the base of the valve.
  • Attach the valve to nearby cordlike heart tissues (chordal transposition).


With replacement, the badly damaged valve is removed and a mechanical (plastic or metal) or bioprosthetic valve (usually made from pig tissue) is sewn into place. Before you have valve replacement surgery, you and your doctor will decide on which type of valve is right for you.

For more information, see:

Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery.
dplink.gif Heart Valve Problems: Should I Choose a Mechanical Valve or Tissue Valve to Replace My Heart Valve?
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    x-ray of human heart
    A visual guide.
    atrial fibrillation
    Symptoms and causes.
    heart rate graph
    10 things to never do.
    heart rate
    Get the facts.
    empty football helmet
    red wine
    eating blueberries
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
    Inside A Heart Attack
    Omega 3 Sources
    Salt Shockers
    lowering blood pressure