What is mitral valve replacement?
Mitral valve replacement is a cardiac procedure that is performed to replace a degenerated mitral valve, an important valve located between the heart chambers. Valve degeneration may lead to:
- Mitral valve regurgitation: blood flow in both directions, which leads to a leaky valve.
- Mitral valve stenosis: Narrowing of the valve, thereby preventing proper functioning.
In both the above cases, the surgeon may recommend replacing the mitral valve with a mechanic or bioprosthetic valve.
What are the mitral valve replacement procedures?
Currently, mitral valve replacement procedures can be done through open-heart surgery or a minimally invasive procedure.
- Open mitral valve replacement:
A large incision is required to access the heart and replace the degenerated mitral valve with an artificial valve. Recovery after the surgery may take up to several weeks, depending on the patient’s medical condition.
- Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR):
This is a minimally invasive procedure, which requires a small, cosmetic incision. Completed in under an hour, the percutaneous procedure minimizes both the risks and the duration of hospital stay.