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Mitral Valve Stenosis: Repair or Replacement? - Topic Overview

If you have mitral valve stenosis and you need surgery to treat it, you have a choice of repairing the valve or replacing it. Many things play a role in this decision. These things include whether you have symptoms or other health problems (or both), the severity of your mitral valve stenosis, the shape of the mitral valve, and the risks of surgery.

Repair options

Replacement option

What factors play a role in the decision?

When making this decision, you and your doctor need to consider:

  • The severity of mitral valve stenosis. The severity is based on many things, including the shape of the mitral valve, how well blood is flowing through the valve, and if you have symptoms.
  • The condition of the valve and what is causing the stenosis.
  • The surgeon's skill and experience in doing the procedures. Both valve replacements and balloon valvotomies are highly technical and should be done by an experienced surgeon.
  • Whether you have a blood clot in your left atrium.
  • Whether you have atrial fibrillation.
  • Whether you are going to have surgery for another heart problem.

When is mitral valve repair recommended?

Generally, mitral valve repair is preferred if:

  • Your valve is suitable for it.
  • Your surgeon has the appropriate level of experience and surgical skill.

The advantages of mitral valve repair are that it:

  • Preserves your natural valve.
  • May have fewer risks than mitral valve replacement surgery.

The disadvantages of mitral valve repair are that:

  • Not all valve problems can be repaired.
  • The repair may not last and then you may need valve replacement surgery.

When is mitral valve replacement recommended?

Valve replacement surgery might be done if the valve is damaged beyond repair. Replacement might also be considered if you are already going to have another type of heart surgery.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 08, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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