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Mitral Valve Repair & Replacement

Mitral Valve Surgery

The mitral valve regulates blood flow in the left side of the heart. When the flaps of this valve don’t seal tightly due to a congenital condition, previous illness or wear and tear, it can impair blood flow, causing a leak into the lower-left heart chamber or creating a backflow of blood called regurgitation. This is called mitral valve disease and can lead to congestive heart failure and other issues.

Symptoms of mitral valve disease may include:

  • Palpitations (feelings that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating too hard or too fast)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Fatigue, dizziness or anxiety
  • Migraine headaches
  • Chest discomfort

Types of Valve Surgery

Many people with mitral valve prolapse have no symptoms or can be treated with medication. But if you require surgery, Cape Cod Healthcare’s Heart & Vascular Institute offers two approaches for patients who qualify:

Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair

If you are diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse, our surgeons at the Cape Cod Heart and Vascular Institute offer Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair in addition to traditional Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery. Our surgical team of physicians, nurses, technologists and other clinicians is specially trained in this procedure in order to restore patients’ health quickly and with minimal intervention.

What is Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair?

Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair is a surgical procedure which restores valve function through surgery that requires only a two- to three-inch incision on the right side. This less-invasive approach allows for a shorter hospital stay and recovery time for those patients whose conditions allow for this surgical intervention.

This new standard of care joins traditional Mitral Valve Replacement surgery, which requires a larger mid-chest incision and full replacement of the valve. Valve replacement surgery requires a more lengthy recovery time before normal physical activity can resume.

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Learn more about comprehensive cardiovascular care offered at Cape Cod Healthcare. Talk to your primary care physician (PCP) or your cardiologist to find out if you are a candidate for mitral valve surgery.

Mitral Valve Regurgitation

Mitral valve regurgitation is the most common heart-valve problem in the United States, according to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare. It occurs when your mitral valve’s two leaflets, or flaps, do not close properly. This allows some of the blood in the heart’s lower chamber (the ventricle) to flow back into the upper chamber (the atria). That’s called regurgitation.

If you suffer from mitral valve insufficiency, shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, dizziness, migraines or chest discomfort can affect your ability to live a normal lifestyle.

Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR)

Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR) offers significant improvement to some patients with severe symptomatic mitral valve regurgitation.

Using this minimally invasive technique, surgeons at the Cape Cod Healthcare’s Heart and Vascular Institute attach a device as small as a dime, called a MitraClip®, that restores normal blood flow by allowing the valve to close properly. This eliminates regurgitation back through the valve.

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and often can be completed in under two hours. An interventional cardiologist inserts a special catheter through a small needle hole into the femoral vein in the upper leg. The catheter is then guided by an advanced 3-D imaging technique (transesophageal ultrasound) across the wall that separates the right from left atrium of the heart and between the two leaflets that comprise the mitral valve.

They can then attach between one and three MitraClip devices to the faulty valve leaflets, resulting in dramatic reduction in leakage.

Talk to your cardiologist about whether you may be a candidate for Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair.

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MitraClip® Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair

Problem: Mitral Valve Regurgitation