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If you have been diagnosed with mitral valve disease, you probably have a list of questions. As you should! Mitral valve disease is one form of heart disease, and it can be a very serious condition. Part of your heart valve isn’t working properly, and it’s you and your doctor’s job to decide what to do next so you can live a healthy and long life.

There are three different types of mitral valve disease: mitral valve regurgitation/insufficiency (leaking), mitral valve stenosis (obstruction), and mitral valve prolapse (bulging).

The type of mitral valve disease you have and the severity of it will determine your doctor’s treatment plan. One treatment option is surgery. But when is it time to repair your mitral valve? Is there a good time? Well, if you have a severe case or a big leak, it’s recommended you get the valve repaired now. If you put off surgery, the damaged valve will begin to cause damage to the heart itself. Valves cannot repair themselves; there is no point in waiting. Studies have shown if you wait for symptoms to become severe before you choose surgery, your chance of experiencing complications after the surgery is higher.

If the valve is severely damaged, a surgeon may not be able to repair the valve and a replacement will have to be done. If your valve disease is life-threatening, a replacement valve will be chosen over a repair.

Treatment isn’t always needed for minor causes of mitral valve disease. Sometimes the doctor will just monitor a patient’s heart over the years to see if the disease is getting progressively worse. The doctor can also prescribe medications to reduce the symptoms that patients are experiencing from the disease, but the medications cannot fix the broken parts of the mitral valve. Patients can take antiarrhythmics, beta blockers, diuretics, and anticoagulants.

The thought of surgery can be terrifying; there may be no “right” time, but you want to fix the problem before it gets worse. Dr. Peter Mikhail performs minimally-invasive mitral valve heart surgery on his patients. He makes a small (2 to 3 inch) incision in the right side of the chest. This is not open-heart surgery. With minimally invasive surgery, recovery is shorter. Surgery can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.

If it’s time for you to get your mitral valve repaired or replaced, let Dr. Mikhail look at your heart and determine the best course of action. He is a cardiac and thoracic surgeon who specializes in mitral valve surgery. He treats patients in the New Port Richey, Tampa and Clearwater areas of Florida. To book a consult, click here or call 727-312-4844.  Learn more about this surgery on Dr. Mikhail’s Mitral Valve Surgery page.




Are you a candidate for mitral valve surgery? If so, you probably have a lot of questions. Although surgery on the mitral valve can be minimally-invasive these days, it can still be scary going under the knife for a heart operation. Dr. Peter Mikhail is a cardiac and thoracic surgeon who specializes in treating and operating on patients with mitral valve disease. Below, we share some answers to a few questions you may have if you’re deciding to have this surgery.

Do I need my mitral valve repaired or replaced?
Dr. Peter Mikhail will assess the damage to your valve to determine if he is able to repair the valve or if it’s better to replace it. Through his years of experience, Dr. Mikhail can make an educated, experienced decision on which is the best option for you.

Should I choose a mechanical valve or a biological valve?
This is a decision that will be made between you and the doctor. The doctor will look at your history, symptoms, age, and lifestyle to determine which type is better for your body. Mechanical valves require a person be on blood thinners for the rest of his or her life, so a younger, active person may not choose this option. However, mechanical valves do last longer and don’t succumb to wear and tear like a biological valve would. A biological valve will have to be replaced in 10 years or so; this is something a younger patient will need to consider. Again, this is a decision between you and the surgeon.

What tests do I need before this surgery?
You will have an echocardiogram and/or stress test done to determine if surgery is the right course of action.

How long is mitral valve surgery?

The operation itself takes around 45 minutes, but the entire process (prep, closing, etc.) can take up to four hours.

How long am I in the hospital after this surgery?
After surgery, you will spend one to two days in ICU. After ICU, you will be moved to a regular hospital room for several days. The doctor and other medical professionals will monitor your recovery, vitals, and pain. Recovery can take one to three months.

For more FAQ, click here.

To book a consult with Dr. Peter Mikhail, click here or call 727-312-4844.  Dr. Mikhail specializes in mitral valve surgery and works out of the Tampa, Clearwater, and New Port Richey areas in Florida.


Although minimally invasive, mitral valve surgery or mini-AVR are major procedures that are taxing on the body. With any type of surgery, the recovery period is important. After valve surgery, a patient will spend several days in the hospital while the doctor and nurses monitor recovery and pain. After 4 to 6 weeks post-op, your doctor will schedule a follow up appointment to check in on your recovery. For this post, we want to share some thoughts and tips about recovery from heart valve surgery. Recovery is different for each patient, but there are many things to follow and take note of that will help you recover faster and better.

  • Listen to your doctor, and follow the recovery instructions given to you at the hospital.
    • Questions to ask your doctor about your recovery
      • Am I able to lift things on my own? How heavy?
      • When can I drive a car?
      • When can I go back to work?
      • Should I be exercising? What can I do or not do?
      • What medications will I be taking or should stop taking?
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help or accept someone’s offer to help you. Whether it’s making food or running an errand, a family member or friend can help you do daily tasks while you get as much rest as you can.
    • Eat a healthy diet full of variety. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish and whole grains are recommended. Your doctor will recommend the best diet plan for you to follow.
    • Take note: there are some things you may not be able to do easily right after heart valve surgery, including: tying your shoes, climbing stairs, cooking, raising your arms above your head, sitting up on your own, or cleaning.
    • You may hear your new heart valve as it opens and closes.

If you have been diagnosed with mitral valve disease or aortic valve disease, meet with Dr. Peter Mikhail to discuss your surgical options. Dr. Mikhail is a cardiac surgeon in New Port Richey, Florida, specializing in mitral valve surgery and mini-AVR. To book a consult and for more information, click here or call 727-312-4844.


One of the best ways to take care of your heart is through your diet. Unfortunately, all heart diseases or conditions are not entirely preventable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to prevent yourselves from getting the ones that are. When you eat a heart-healthy diet, you aren’t just keeping your heart healthy, you’re keeping your entire body healthy. When a person’s body is working properly in all other areas, it causes less stress on the heart each day.

Unsure of what to eat? We can help! Our team wanted to share some of the best heart-healthy foods you should be adding into your diet. Whether you’re healthy, currently suffering from a heart condition or are a post-op heart surgery patient, these foods are essential for you to live a healthy life.

  • Nuts – Nuts are filled with omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They also have a lot of fiber. Almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts are the best choices.
  • Berries – Berries (blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries) are packed with anti-inflammatory propertieis, which helps ward off heart disease.
  • Legumes – Legumes, like black beans and lentils, are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and fiber.
  • Oatmeal – Like nuts and legumes, oatmeal also is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. This morning staple also is a good source for folate, fiber, and potassium. Oatmeal is known to lower bad cholesterol, which helps artery health.
  • Salmon – This fish is an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids, and it is known to help lower blood pressure, which in turn takes stress off the heart and also reduces the chances of developing clots. Salmon also contains the antioxidant, carotenoid astaxanthin.
  • Avocado – Avocados are full of monounsaturated fat, which helps lower bad cholesterol levels and raises good cholesterol levels.

Other heart healthy foods: Olive oil, chickpeas, kidney beans, spinach, flaxseed, soy, and tuna.

If you currently are suffering from a heart condition like mitral valve disease or aortic valve disease, Dr. Peter Mikhail is a thoracic and cardiac surgeon in New Port Richey, FL, who performs mitral valve surgery and mini-AVR.  He also advises his patients on the best diets based on their condition. To book a consult with Dr. Mikhail, click here or call his office at 727-312-4844.


If you’re suffering from mitral valve disease or aortic valve disease, you probably know by now if you are going to need surgery or not on your valves. If you do need surgery, you probably also know if you’re going to need a valve repair or a replacement. For this article, we are focusing on those patients who will need a valve replacement.

When it has been decided that you need a valve replacement, the next decision becomes, “Do I need a mechanical valve or a biological tissue valve?” It is up to you if you want to make this decision alongside your doctor, or if you just trust the doctor’s judgment. However, since it is your heart, it’s always good to know what these valves are and the differences between them.

Mechanical Valves – A mechanical valve can last inside a person’s body for more than 20 years. They are made from pyrolytic carbon. Most likely, you will only need valve surgery once, and never have to replace the valve. Unfortunately, mechanical valves can cause blood clots, so to combat this a patient needs to be on blood thinners, like Coumadin, for the rest of his or her life to prevent clots from forming in the valve. These valves are good for people under 60 years old. If a patient is already on a blood thinner, then a mechanical valve is an easier choice. Sometimes, mechanical valves can be heard when they are open and closing, but most patients are not disturbed by the noise.

Biological Valves – A biological tissue valve comes from pig heart valves or a cow heart sac. Biological tissue valves often have to be replaced because they only last 10 to 18 years. A patient’s life expectancy is highly considered with this valve, since he or she will most likely need another surgery when the first tissue valve degenerates. The valves are recommended for patients 60 years old or older. If the patient doesn’t want to be on a blood thinner for life, a biological tissue valve is the way to go.

So, which heart valve do you choose? This is entirely up to you, your age, your health history and your doctor’s expert medical opinion. Weigh the pros and cons of each valve. You want to choose the best option for you to lead the healthiest life.

If you’re looking for a cardiac surgeon to perform your heart valve surgery and discuss valve replacement options, book a consult with Dr. Peter Mikhail who is based in New Port Richey, Florida. Dr. Mikhail is one of the foremost authorities and specialists in mitral valve surgery and he also performs mini-AVR. To book a consultation, click here or call his office at 727-312-4844.


Is heart valve disease genetic? Yes, it can be. If you have a family member who has suffered or is currently suffering from a heart valve disease, it is a good idea to go to a cardiologist and get tests and screenings done to rule out if you have the same issue going on with your own valves.  These conditions can be caused by a defect in the genes or a chromosome.

Even if you have the right gene mutation that caused valve disease in your family, you yourself still may not ever have a valve problem. Doctors and researchers are still working on the link between these genetic mutations and diseases and the effects they truly have. There is a good chance the mutated genes can affect each person in the family differently, or not even affect them at all.

What does this mean? Well, it’s not always up to the genes. Sometimes, it’s a person’s lifestyles choices and environmental surroundings combined with their family history that can shape what occurs with the genes in his or her body. If there is a history of heart valve disease in your family, there will always be an increased risk for yourself, especially if the family member was younger when they developed the disease.

If you have a family history of heart disease, or even more specifically heart valve disease, you should get your cholesterol and blood pressure tested regularly throughout adulthood. Also, you should be tested for diabetes every year.

To avoid (as much as possible) developing heart valve disease, it is in your best interest to pay attention to your diet, activity level, and weight. Eat a well-balanced diet, aim for daily exercise and make sure your weight is in a healthy range. People who are overweight or obese increase their risk for heart disease by potentially having diabetes, high blood pressure, and low levels of good cholesterol.

If you have a family history of heart disease or have the warning signs of heart disease, it’s time to see a doctor. If you currently have mitral valve disease or aortic valve disease, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive mitral valve surgery or mini-AVR. To book a consult to discuss surgical options, call Dr. Peter Mikhail’s office at 727-312-4844 or click here. Dr. Mikhail is a thoracic and cardiac surgeon in New Port Richey, Florida.


Dr. Peter Mikhail is a thoracic and cardiac surgeon in Tampa, Clearwater, and New Port Richey, Florida. Dr. Mikhail is Board Certified by the American Board of Surgery, The American Board of Thoracic Surgery and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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