What is a minimally-invasive mitral valve replacement?

Minimally-invasive mitral valve replacement surgery is a less invasive treatment option to treat mitral valve conditions such as mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve stenosis and mitral valve regurgitation. The mitral valve is the valve that is located between the left atrium and left ventricle.

Your Mercy Health heart team has extensive experience replacing heart valve with traditional open heart surgery as well is with minimally-invasive techniques. Your team will evaluate your case individually to determine the best option for you.

Who is a candidate for minimally-invasive mitral valve replacement?

If a mitral repair is not an option for you, a mitral valve replacement may be an option.

What to expect during minimally-invasive mitral valve replacement surgery?

During minimally-invasive mitral valve replacement surgery, your doctor will use catheters to insert a replacement valve in biological (made from human heart tissue) valves that are not functioning correctly.  

What are the benefits of minimally-invasive mitral valve replacement?

Many patients prefer minimally-invasive valve replacement surgery because of the many benefits over traditional surgery including:

  • Faster recovery - most patients return to work in three weeks
  • Shorter stay in the hospital - most patients go home within a week
  • Post-surgical complications are not as common 
  • The chest does not have to be cut open at the breastbone - instead your surgeon will cut four to five dime-sized incisions and a 2-inch incision on the side of the chest
  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Less scarring 

What are risks of minimally-invasive mitral valve replacement?

Although minimally-invasive mitral valve replacement surgery is less risky than mitral valve replacement with open heart surgery, the procedure poses significant risks including:
  • Severe bleeding
  • Formation of blood clots that could lead to deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
  • Dysfunction in replacement valve
  • Stroke
  • Arrhythmias 
  • Infection 

Recovery from minimally-invasive mitral valve replacement?

Recovery from minimally-invasive mitral valve replacement surgery takes time. After surgery, you will be moved to an ICU before being moved to a regular hospital room. The length of time you spend in either the ICU or regular hospital room will depend on the severity of your condition. During your hospital stay, your doctor will monitor you closely to ensure the valve is functioning properly.

Many patients can resume day-to-day activities after minimally-invasive mitral valve surgery. Work closely with your doctor to determine when and how quickly you should return to your normal pace.
 
You should be closely monitored by your physicians and take medications as directed, and your doctor may recommend making some lifestyle changes or participating in a cardiac rehab program to aid recovery.

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