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Mitral Valve Repair (Minimally-Invasive Technique)

Overview

This is a procedure to fix a problem with your heart's mitral valve. That's the valve between the two chambers on the left side of your heart.

Preparation

To begin, you lie on your back and you are given medicine to put you to sleep. The surgeon accesses your heart through a small incision on your chest or near your armpit. Or, if you are having an endoscopic procedure, your surgeon makes a few tiny openings for a camera and instruments. Your heart is stopped for the procedure. A heart-lung machine will supply blood and oxygen for your body.

Procedure

A small opening is made in the left side of your heart. Your surgeon carefully examines the mitral valve. A healthy valve has two flaps (called "cusps") that open and close to let blood through. If your flaps are malformed, fused or damaged, they can be trimmed, shaped or rebuilt. The surgeon may need to adjust the chordae tendinae. These are the tiny string-like tendons that connect the valve to the heart muscle. And, your surgeon may need to repair the annulus. That's the ring of cartilage around the mitral valve.

End of Procedure

When the procedure is done, your heart and chest are closed and the incision is covered with a bandage. You will need to stay in the hospital temporarily for monitoring. Your healthcare provider will give you tips to help your recovery.