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Mitral Valve Disease​

The best option for treating mitral valve disease is to repair the damaged valve. In fact, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology state:

“Mitral valve repair is recommended over mitral valve replacement in the majority of patients with severe chronic mitral regurgitation who require surgery, and patients should be referred to surgical centers experienced in mitral valve repair.”

Despite this recommendation, a study by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons revealed that only 50 percent of isolated mitral valve surgeries are repairs. Fortunately, that is not the case at Hoag.

Why Choose Hoag for Mitral Valve Repair Surgery?

When it comes to diagnosing and treating mitral valve disease, The Nancy and Bill Heart Valve Center is a nationally recognized leader, repairing more heart valves than 90 percent of all cardiac programs in the country. Additionally, 95 percent of patients at Hoag who are eligible for repair receive it as opposed to heart valve replacement.

While some surgeons perform mitral valve repair on a small number of patients, the expert cardiovascular surgical team​ at Hoag repairs more heart valves than any other medical center in Orange County. Hoag cardiac surgeons also perform a high-volume of minimally invasive surgery techniques, such as Robotic Mitral Valve Repair​. Being a high-volume cardiac surgery center enables the cardiovascular team at Hoag to achieve a technical skill level not all facilities can match.

In addition, Hoag cardiac surgeons have a unique advantage in mitral valve repair as a result of their partnership with Dr. Pravin Shah, an internationally renowned pioneer of echocardiography and Master of the American College of Cardiology. As medical director of The Nancy and Bill Thompson Heart Valve Center, Dr. Shah performs innovative 3D echocardiography (a highly advanced ultrasound of the heart) on each patient before, during and after mitral valve repair surgery.

This approach enables Hoag’s surgical team to assess the function of the heart valve prior to surgery, so the team can tailor the procedure to meet the unique needs of each patient. The heart valve is imaged again immediately following surgery to assess the function of the valve before closing the heart. At this point, 95 percent of the valves are fully repaired, and the surgical team is assured that the repair is successful before the surgery concludes.

With its exceptional team of physician experts and staff, progressive technology, and state-of-the-art surgical facilities, it’s easy to see why Hoag continues to lead the way in comprehensive valvular heart disease treatment both locally and nationwide.

What are the Advantages of Mitral Valve Repair?

The goal of mitral valve repair is to restore function to the patient’s own valve. Therefore, mitral valve repair surgery offers substantial advantages over replacement, since it leaves a patient's own living tissue functioning normally.

The main advantages to this approach are a long-term solution to restoring heart valve function, and the potential for significantly less complications. In fact, mitral valve repair has been proven in multiple studies to be superior to valve replacement in terms of surgical mortality, valve function and long-term survival.

Studies also show the superior long-term durability of repair vs. replacement. Mitral valve repair gives patients an 80 percent chance that they may go the rest of their life without any further surgery on that valve.

Another important consideration is that mitral valve repair does not require long-term medication therapy with blood thinning agents, such as "coumadin" or "warfarin.” This is another significant advantage since blood thinners are know to increase the risk of bleeding, and may lead to stroke or other medical problems. In addition, they can cause severe birth defects, and therefore cannot be used in women who may become pregnant.

Determining if Mitral Valve Repair Surgery is Right for You?

The valvular heart disease experts at Nancy and Bill Thompson Heart Valve Center continue to lead the way in progressive patient-centered mitral valve surgery. To determine if you are a candidate for mitral valve repair, speak with your cardiologist, or contact us to schedule an appointment at 949-764-VALVE (8258).