MITRAL VALVE SURGERY- open

MITRAL VALVE SURGERY- open

Description

Mitral valve surgery is used to repair or replace the mitral valve in your heart.

Blood flows between the different chambers in the heart through valves that connect the chambers.

One of these is the mitral valve. The mitral valve opens so blood can flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle. The valve then closes, keeping blood from flowing backward.

In this type of surgery, the surgeon makes a large cut in your breastbone to reach the heart. Other types of surgery use several smaller cuts.

Before your surgery, you will receive general anesthesia. You will be asleep and pain-free during the procedure.

• Your surgeon will make a 10-inch-long (25.4 centimeters) cut in the middle of your chest.

• Next, your surgeon will separate your breastbone in order to see your heart.

• Most people are connected to a heart-lung bypass machine or bypass pump. Your heart is stopped while you are connected to this machine. This machine does the work of your heart while your heart is stopped.

• A small cut is made in the left side of your heart so your surgeon can repair or replace the mitral valve.
If your surgeon can repair your mitral valve, you may have:

• Ring annuloplasty — The surgeon repairs the ring-like part around the valve by sewing a ring of metal, cloth, or tissue around the valve.

• Valve repair — The surgeon trims, shapes, or rebuilds one or more of the three flaps (leaflets) of the valve.

If your mitral valve is too damaged to be repaired, you will need a new valve. This is called replacement surgery. Your surgeon will remove your mitral valve and sew a new one into place. There are two types of mitral valves:

• Mechanical, made of man-made (synthetic) materials, such as titanium. These valves last the longest. You will need to take blood-thinning medicine, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin, for the rest of your life.

• Biological, made of human or animal tissue. These valves last 10 to 12 years. You may not need to take blood thinners for life.

Once the new or repaired valve is working, your surgeon will:

• Close your heart and take you off the heart-lung machine.

• Place catheters (tubes) around your heart to drain fluids that build up.

• Close your breastbone with stainless steel wires. It will take about 6 weeks for the bone to heal. The wires will stay inside your body.

You may have a temporary pacemaker connected to your heart until your natural heart rhythm returns.

This surgery may take 3 to 6 hours.