Mitral valve disease

Mitral valve prolapse, mitral stenosis, mitral regurgitation

Heart valve specialists at Duke’s nationally ranked heart center use advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques to repair and replace diseased mitral valves, one of the four heart valves that control blood flow in and out of the heart. Our surgeons have performed more than 1,500 minimally invasive procedures to repair and replace mitral valves -- placing us among the world’s top three volume leaders. Our skill and experience ensure you get the right treatment for your mitral valve disease so you get better faster.

When Simon Griffiths learned he had a leaky mitral valve he chose the surgeon with the most mitral valve repair experience.

Advancing the use of minimally invasive mitral valve procedures

Treating mitral valve disease depends on its severity. At early stages, lifestyle changes and medications may prevent the disease from progressing. However, if left untreated, mitral valve disease can seriously impact your quality of life and become life-threatening. Surgery may become necessary when your mitral valve no longer closes properly (mitral valve prolapse), when your mitral valve has narrowed (mitral valve stenosis), or when your mitral valve no longer opens properly, causing it to leak and allow blood to regurgitate, or flow backward, into your heart (mitral valve regurgitation).

Our cardiologists work with you to manage your mitral valve disease, and our surgeons repair and replace damaged valves using minimally invasive techniques in 90 percent of cases. Our experience and skill with the latest treatment options help you feel better, faster.

Choose a Duke heart clinic for your mitral valve disease treatment because we offer:

  • Top-ranked care. U.S. News and World Report ranks Duke Heart Center 5th in the nation, based on our patients’ survival rates, the number of procedures we perform and the quality of our support services.
  • Advanced tools for accurate diagnosis. We use 3-D transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) to create highly detailed, up-close images of the valves and chambers, as well as the pumping action of your moving heart.
  • More repairs than replacements. When possible, our surgeons opt to repair the mitral valve, rather than replace it. As a result, you are less likely to require blood thinners and undergo repeat procedures.
  • Access to novel treatments. We are one of approximately 40 study sites nationwide with access to MitraClip®, a device inserted into the mitral valve to prevent blood from flowing backwards into your heart (mitral valve regurgitation). The device was first studied in patients with severe mitral valve regurgitation who were at high risk for open heart surgery. Now, if you have moderate-to-severe disease and surgery risk, you may be eligible to participate in an ongoing clinical trial of this device.
  • More minimally invasive valve treatment options. Our surgeons are ranked among the world’s highest performers of mini-thoracotomy procedures, a minimally invasive technique used for valve repair. The use of smaller incisions, rather than open heart surgery, reduces blood loss, scarring and the risk of infection, while speeding your recovery time.
  • A choice in heart valve replacements. If you require a heart valve replacement, we offer mechanical valves that are made of carbon, as well as tissue valves that are made from animal tissue. We educate you on the pros and cons of each, and work with you to determine which option is best for you.
  • Streamlined care and convenience. If needed, our cardiologists and surgeons can meet with you on the same day to make your visit as convenient and streamlined as possible.
  • Support for your recovery. After mitral valve replacement, our cardiac prevention and rehabilitation team provides a personalized plan for recovery and long-term management of your heart health, including exercise instruction, nutritional counseling and more.



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