In the movies, you never doubt when a man's having a heart attack. He clutches his chest, screams, or moans, and falls to the ground. If he's lucky, help is on its way.
In real life, the signs aren't always so clear. Some people do experience Hollywood-type symptoms, says Mohamud Daya, MD, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. But others don’t. “Some people say they just feel uneasy discomfort or vague discomfort, not pain that really hurts...
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.