Heart valve repair is a procedure used to treat heart valve disease. Heart valve disease can be caused by either valve stenosis, valve insufficiency, or mitral valve prolapse. These are conditions that disrupt the flow of blood between the left ventricle and atrium of the heart.
Valve repair surgery is most often a solution for mitral valve disease rather than aortic valve disease, which usually necessitates valve replacement. Symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting spells, or heart failure may require surgical treatment for your heart valve disease.
If you’re suffering from a heart valve condition, contact an SSM Health heart and vascular specialist. They’ll take the time to discuss all of your health concerns, available procedures, their benefits and risks towards your personal health. Together, you’ll make a decision on how to proceed, giving you control in your health care decisions.
Candidates for Valve Repair Surgery
Valve repair is almost always the option chosen for patients who have either a leaking or narrow mitral valve. The repair consists of mending the diseased valve rather than replacing it entirely. Mitral valve repair can be performed through tiny incisions or robotically, making it less invasive and more precise.
What Happens During a Valve Repair Surgery?
Prior to surgery, you’ll be put under general anesthesia. During the repair, your SSM Health cardiovascular surgeon will tighten, cut, shorten, separate or reinforce the mitral valve. The procedure specifics depend on the form of valve disease you have, as well as your age, overall health, preference, and the condition of your heart valves.
There are three types of valve repair surgery:
- Traditional valve repair
- Minimally invasive valve repair
- da Vinci mitral valve repair
Traditional Valve Repair Surgery
Traditional valve repair is an open-heart surgery procedure. While performed less commonly than the minimally invasive approach, it is still used when circumstances require it.
Minimally Invasive Valve Repair
The minimally invasive option is one of the top choices for nearly all valve repair procedures. With the minimally invasive approach, the need to crack open the chest to reach your heart is completely eliminated. Smaller incisions are used to access the heart, leaving minimal scars after surgery. This approach also reduces blood loss during surgery while also lowering your risk of infection and speeding up the recovery process.
da Vinci Mitral Valve Repair
This minimally invasive surgical technique allows surgeons to more precisely tie knots and reshape disease valves. It provides more exact visualization that is incomparable to most other methods. It also has been shown to drastically lower the risk for surgical complications.
At SSM Health, our team of nationally recognized cardiothoracic surgeons have expertly performed minimally invasive valve repairs for more than a decade. These procedures involve fewer and smaller incisions, leaving limited scarring.
SSM Health’s heart and vascular specialists work closely with you to assess your symptoms and overall condition. From there, you’ll work together to determine the right course of treatment.