Mechanical Mitral Valve Replacement
Mitral valve replacement (MVR) or repair is an open heart surgery operation performed whilst a machine takes on the work of the heart and lungs (cardiopulmonary bypass). The operation can be performed through the breastbone (midline sternotomy) or sometimes through an incision in the side of the chest (thoracotomy).
Biological Mitral Valve Replacement
The best operation for a leaking valve (mitral regurgitation, MR) is, when possible to repair the valve. If the native valve is preserved then there is no need for a replacement valve, excellent valve function can often be achieved with good long term results and no need for blood thinning (anticoagulation).
If the diseased valve cannot be repaired and has to be removed it can be replaced with a number of alternatives but the main groups are mechanical valves and biological valves.
Mechanical valves are very durable and long lasting however they require long term blood thinning (anticoagulation). Biological valves don’t always last as long as mechanical valves, but have the advantage that anticoagulation is usually unnecessary, unless it is required for another indication.
Dr Dalby and his surgical colleagues will discuss any proposed procedure with you including its attendant risks and benefits. When appropriate this will involve further discussion in a multidisciplinary meeting so that you may receive the best advice and reach a mutually agreeable management plan.