What is Involved in Mitral Valve Replacement?
On the rare occasion that a mitral valve is not repairable we replace the valve minimally invasive through a small two inch incision under the right breast. This operation offers the same benefits of a minimally invasive robotic valve replacement, shorter recovery, less pain, fewer infections, and superior cosmesis.
Nationwide, mitral valve operations are most often done through a standard midline sternotomy or brest bone incision. When the mitral disease is isolated i.e. there is no associated coronary artery disease (blockages), the mitral valve can be repaired or replaced through small incisions in the right chest (a robotic assisted minimally invasive mitral valve repair) thereby avoided the breast bone incision.
Whenever possible, we prefer a mitral valve repair to a replacement. It has been shown repeatedly that repair is superior to replacement in terms of both early and late results. In other words, a successful repair is more likely to result in a healthy and alive patient than a replacement. Sometimes the mitral valve disease is so advanced that repair is not possible and a mitral valve replacement is preferred.
The DaVinci robot facilitates mitral valve repair. Currently our repair rates for isolated mitral valve leakage perfomred with the robot exceed 95 percent. Nationally mitral valve repair rates are 60 percent. When concomitant tricuspid repair is required, it too is done with the robot.
In patients who require concomitant bypass surgery, a sternotomy or breast bone incision is necessary.