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Mitral valve repair is typically done during an open-heart surgery. It repairs a mitral valve that is not working as it should.
The mitral valve opens and closes to keep blood flowing in the proper direction through your heart. If the mitral valve doesn't close properly, it's called mitral valve regurgitation. If the valve is very tight and narrow, it's called mitral valve stenosis. In both of these cases, blood doesn't flow through the heart the right way.
You will be asleep during the surgery. In an open-chest surgery, your doctor will make a cut in the skin over your breastbone (sternum). This cut is called an incision. Then the doctor will cut through your sternum to reach your heart. In a less invasive surgery, your doctor will make smaller cuts in your chest. Your sternum is not cut.
The doctor may connect you to a heart-lung bypass machine. It adds oxygen to your blood and moves the blood through your body. This machine will allow the doctor to stop your heartbeat while working on your heart. After repairing the valve, the doctor will restart your heartbeat.
How the repair is done depends on how the mitral valve is damaged. Your doctor can tell you how your mitral valve will be repaired.
If your sternum was cut, the doctor may use wire to put your sternum back together. Your incision will be closed with stitches or staples. The wire will stay in your chest. The incision will leave a scar that will fade with time.
You may stay in the hospital for a few days after surgery.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: February 27, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & Stephen Fort MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
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