When it comes to mitral valve surgery, there are two options: a mitral valve repair or a mitral valve replacement. Most heart valve surgeons, like Dr. Peter Mikhail, aim to do a mitral valve repair. Why? It’s always better to preserve and repair a person’s own valve/body part, if possible. Now if the valve is too badly damaged, a replacement will most likely be the solution. For this article, we share the advantages of having a mitral valve repair over a mitral valve replacement.
- As stated above, surgeons aim to keep a person’s valve if possible. By performing a repair rather than a replacement, a surgeon is able to keep the natural shape and function of the heart.
- Patients don’t have to be on life-long medications (blood thinners) with a repair. Mitral valve replacements require the patients to take blood thinners for the rest of their lives.
- After a mitral valve repair, 82 to 87 percent of the repaired valves still work 15 years later. Replacement valves have a lower (in the 70s) percentage, and animal valves must be replaced after 10 to 12 years.
- The mortality rates for repairs are lower than for replacements. On average, the mortality rates for repairs are 1 to 2 percent, and 5 to 7 percent for replacements.
Mitral valve repair is often performed on patients with mitral regurgitation, which is the most common heart valve disorder. Around 20 percent of men and women suffer from mitral regurgitation after the age of 55. The earlier mitral valve regurgitation is diagnosed, and the earlier surgery is performed, the better results people will have from the surgery.
Whenever possible, Dr. Mikhail will repair a valve rather than replace it. Dr. Mikhail meets with his patients to determine their eligibility for mitral valve surgery. He will also determine if the patient needs a mitral valve repair or replacement. He works with his patients before, during, and after surgery by answering all questions and providing them with the resources they need to return to their daily lives, and even have a better quality of life.
Wondering if you need a valve repair or replacement? Time to book a consult with a heart valve surgeon. The earlier you do this, the better! Dr. Mikhail is a heart valve surgeon who performs mitral valve surgery, TAVR and mini-AVR. To book a consult, click our mitral valve surgery contact page or call 727-312-4844. He is based in New Port Richey, Florida, and treats patients in the Tampa and Clearwater areas.