0 Comments | Jun 07, 2011

What Makes Mitral Valve Repair Better than Mitral Valve Replacement?

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Mitral valve repair is a surgical procedure that is completed on the patient’s natural mitral valve, while mitral valve replacement involves removing the valve and replacing it with an artificial valve. In the past, surgeons tended to choose valve replacement because of the replacement valves’ durability. However, this procedure requires that patients continue to take anti-coagulants for the rest of their lives. Mitral valve replacement also usually requires future reoperations because the replacement valve will wear out after about 10 – 15 years and will then require a new replacement.

There are a number of other risks and side effects associated with mitral valve replacement, which is shy surgeons are trying to steer away from it. In contrast, there are a number of benefits associated with mitral valve repair, which makes it a much better choice.

Mitral valve replacement is a much more traumatic surgical experience than mitral valve repair. In fact, mitral valve repair is often used to avoid the need for heart surgery or valve replacement in the future. Most surgeons will even recommend the procedure prior to the development of serious clinical symptoms because it may help to avoid further heart damage and more surgical procedures in the future. The procedure is completed as soon as possible when the risks are lowest, which usually leads to the best results.

Mitral valve repair has a lower risk of bleeding, infection, and complications when compared to mitral valve replacement. Mitral valve repair also better preserves the heart functions and tends to have improved survival rates. Overall, mitral valve repair offers better outcomes, fewer risks, and an improved quality of life. For more information on why mitral valve repair is usually the better choice, consider speaking with an experienced board certified heart surgeon. They can give you individualized information based on your particular situation and heart condition.

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