Mitral Valve Repair via Mini-Thoracotomy

In a healthy heart, the mitral valve opens and closes between the lungs and left ventricle, the hearts main pumping muscle. The valve allows oxygenated blood to flow from the lungs into the left ventricle, sending blood into the aorta and finally out to the body. When the ventricle pumps, the two leaflets of the mitral valve snap shut; keeping blood from flowing back into the lungs.

Artificial valve replacement is a routine cardiac procedure to fix a damaged mitral valve that cannot seal completely, creating blood flow backward through the valve. Along with advancing age and coronary artery disease, this can lead to congestive heart failure which must be repaired with surgery. The procedure requires a surgeon to cut the sternum (breastbone), open the ribcage, stop the heart and connect it to a heart-lung oxygenator (pump). This causes tremendous trauma to the body, increases the risk of infection and serious complications, and prolongs recovery time.

Artificial valve replacement patients often require further surgery, have a higher risk of surgical complications, a lower long-term survival rate, reduced heart function, and must take blood thinners for the rest of their lives.

Less Invasive Mitral Valve Repair

At International Robotic Surgery Center for the Heart and Chest, Dr. Miguel Gomez, specializes in mitral valve repair via mini-thoracotomy. Valve repair versus artificial valve replacement is potentially the most effective and less invasive mitral valve surgery option available. Rather than opening the chest, a few small incisions are made between the ribs, through which precision surgery is performed to repair the valve.

If you or someone you love is a candidate for mitral valve surgery, contact us to learn more about this safe, minimally invasive option.