Skip to content

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Mitral Valve Regurgitation: Repair or Replace the Valve? - Topic Overview

To treat mitral valve regurgitation surgically, the options are to repair or replace the mitral valve.

Repair of the heart valve may be recommended if it is likely that the valve can be repaired and that the repair will last a long time.

Recommended Related to Heart Disease

Eat for a Healthy Heart

Eating heart-healthy foods may be easier than you think. You don't need to measure or weigh everything or consult calorie books and food labels before every meal. You can fit a healthy diet into a busy lifestyle. It can be as simple as 1-2-3. Just focus on these three areas, says Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE, a dietitian and assistant clinical professor at the school of nursing at the University of California at San Francisco: Eat more fiber. Switch to healthier fats. Eat less sodium...

Read the Eat for a Healthy Heart article > >

Valve replacement may be recommended if your mitral valve is seriously damaged and cannot be repaired.

The decision about whether to repair or replace a valve is based on many things, including your general health, the condition of the damaged valve, the presence of other health conditions, and the expected benefits of surgery. In some cases, the decision clearly may be in favor of repair or in favor of replacement.

When is valve repair recommended?

Repair for mitral valve regurgitation may be recommended based on a few things. These include whether the valve can be repaired successfully.

Repair is more successful if there is not a lot of damage to certain areas of the mitral valve flaps (leaflets) or to the tough fibers that control movement of the mitral valve leaflets (chordae tendineae).

Mitral valve repair is usually preferred if your valve is suitable for reconstruction and the surgeon has the appropriate level of experience and surgical skill.

The advantages of mitral valve repair include the following:

  • It preserves your natural valve and its support (chordae tendineae). In general, the more of the natural valve that can be preserved during surgery, the better the results of the procedure.
  • It prevents the need for lifelong anticoagulant medicine after valve replacement with a mechanical heart valve.
  • It reduces the need for repeat valve surgery later in life.

When is valve replacement recommended?

Examples of serious damage or complicated conditions that might lead to mitral valve replacement include:

  • Extensive ballooning of the mitral valve (rather than a single flap that puffs up).
  • Severe hardening (calcification) of the valve.
  • Prolapse (bulging) of the valve at an unusual location.
  • Damage to the valve from infection (endocarditis).

Replacement surgery is usually preferred if you have a hard, calcified mitral valve ring (annulus) or widespread damage to the valve and surrounding tissue.

    1|2
    Next Article:

    Mitral Valve Regurgitation: Repair or Replace the Valve? Topics

    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
    Article
    red wine
    Video
     
    eating blueberries
    Article
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
    Slideshow
     
    Inside A Heart Attack
    SLIDESHOW
    Omega 3 Sources
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Salt Shockers
    SLIDESHOW
    lowering blood pressure
    SLIDESHOW