Mitral Valve Stenosis - Surgery
In open commissurotomy, a surgeon removes calcium deposits and other scar
tissue from the mitral valve leaflets, which opens the valve. This procedure is
used for people who have severe narrowing of the valve and are not good
candidates for balloon valvotomy.
The damaged heart valve is removed and replaced
with a new valve. This is generally done when your mitral valve is damaged
beyond repair. With improved technology, mitral valve replacement is an
important surgical option. Some doctors believe that replacement mitral valves
are now more durable. Also, more of the original mitral valve and its
support structure (such as the chordae tendineae) are preserved during valve
replacement. The long-term results of surgery are generally better when more of
the original mitral valve structure is preserved.
Replacement heart valves
If you have valve replacement surgery, a mechanical or tissue valve will be used to replace your heart valve. Before you have surgery, you and your doctor will decide on which type of valve is right for you. To help with this decision, see:
- Heart Valve Problems: Should I Choose a Mechanical Valve or
Tissue Valve to Replace My Heart Valve?
Most people who have mitral valve replacement surgery
will receive a mechanical heart valve. Even if a bioprosthetic tissue valve is
used, you will need to take anticoagulants if you also have other heart
conditions such as abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia) or
a dilated left atrium, because both of these conditions are risk factors for
If you receive a mechanical valve, you are more likely to develop blood
clots in the heart than if you received a tissue valve. So you will need
to take an anticoagulant medicine, such as warfarin, for the rest of your life. For more information about taking warfarin, see:
- Warfarin: Taking Your Medicine Safely.