What Should Patients Know About Mitral Valve Repair Rings?
When a mitral valve is severely diseased it can lead to many complications like heart failure and associated symptoms such as shortness of breath and heart enlargement. The most common diseases are a leaky mitral valve also known as mitral regurgitation and tight mitral valve commonly known as mitral stenosis.
Mitral valve surgery is a process that is performed either to repair or replace the mitral valve present in the heart.
In normal heart the blood flows from lungs and enters a pumping chamber of heart called the left atrium. After which the blood finally enters the left ventricle which is also a pumping chamber. The mitral valve is present between these two chambers. So the main purpose of it is that it makes sure the blood keeps moving forward through the heart.
Surgery is suggested under two circumstances first if the mitral valve is hardened (calcified) and is preventing blood from moving forward through the valve. Second if the mitral valve is too loose that blood tends to flow backward. Surgery can be in two ways either minimally invasive mitral valve surgery is done with several small cuts or open mitral valve surgery is conducted which requires a larger cut.
Brief description of the surgery:
Before the surgery you will be given general anesthesia. Then the process starts which can be performed in two ways:
- Heart surgeon can make 2 to 3 inches long cut in right part of your chest near the sternum. Muscles in the area will be divided. Thus the surgeon can easily reach the heart. After this a small cut is made in the left side of your heart so that the specialist can either repair or replace the mitral valve
- Another method is endoscopic surgery. In this process 1 to 4 small holes are made in your chest. Surgery is performed through the cuts using camera and special surgical tool.
If there has been repairing of the mitral valve, you may have:
- Ring Annuloplasty – when the surgeon tightens the valve by sewing a ring of metal, cloth, or tissue around the valve
- Valve repair – when the surgeon trims, shapes or rebuilds one or both flaps that opens and close the valve.
The surgery may take 2 to 4 hours. Sometimes the doctor sends a catheter with a balloon attached at the end. The balloon inflates to stretch the opening of the valve. This procedure is called percutaneous valvuloplasty and done for blocked mitral valve.