Medications can reduce the symptoms and lower the risks associated with mitral valve disease. May include beta blockers to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow, as well as aspirin and/or blood thinners to reduce your risk for blood clots.
If surgery is the best option for you, your doctor may recommend open-heart surgery -- accessing the heart via an incision in the chest -- for the repair or replacement of the mitral valve.
Surgeons access the heart and replace the mitral valve through a small incision between the ribs. The minimally invasive approach may result in less blood loss, lower infection risk, and less scarring. Minimally invasive surgery will also shorten your recovery.
In this procedure, a catheter is used to thread a balloon across the narrowed heart valve. The balloon is inflated to open the narrowed valve. This procedure is performed on patients whose risk may be too high for traditional mitral valve surgery.
Percutaneous (Catheter-Based) Mitral Valve Repair
Interventional cardiologists use a catheter to access the heart in patients whose health risks are too high for open-heart surgery and who are experiencing symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation. A clip-like device is passed through the catheter and inserted to secure the valve opening and prevent blood from flowing back into the heart. Our involvement in ongoing clinical trials allows us to expand the use of this device to patients who have moderate disease and lower risk levels.
When appropriate, we combine valve repairs or replacements with other procedures, such as angioplasty, in our fully equipped hybrid operating room. Having two procedures at once may reduce your risk for complications and helps you recover faster.