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).