PD MD Wolfgang Harringer
The mitral valve of the heart is a second candidate after the aortic valve for procedure of valve replacement. The mitral valve is located between the left atrium and the left ventricle. It allows the blood moving to the final chamber of the heart and prevents it from flowing back.
Mitral valve has nearly the same problems as the other heart valves. Those problems can develop slowly and without any symptoms in initial stage or sudden failure can happen.
Advanced stages both mitral stenosis and mitral regurgitation may require valve repair or replacement surgery.
The mitral valve can be replaced by open heart surgery or minimally invasive methods. There are pro and contra for both techniques and it depend on situation what to prefer. The team of cardiologist, cardio surgeons, perfusionists and other specialists from related fields decides every case based on patient’s situation taking into consideration age, other diseases, need in other kinds of heart surgery and others.
Open surgery is often advised to younger people with higher life expectation. It is known as more reliable method but with higher risks of complications. During open surgery a large incision in the mid chest is made and heart-lung machine is involved replacing a heart in blood circulation cycle. With the heart still and bloodless it allows to provide better conditions for accurate surgery of the heart valves.
A few different types of implants are used for mitral valve replacement as human donor valves, mechanical valves and bioprothesis made of biological tissues of humans and animals. They are carefully fitted, aligned and, then, stitched. When the heart starts working again after switching heart-lung machine off a surgeon checks if any leakage of misfit takes place and, than, close the chest and sew the wound.
Conventional minimally invasive surgery of the mitral valve is done via smaller incision in the right side of the chest and the muscles are divided to give the surgeon access to the heart. This kind of surgery is often performed on beating heart that, as many doctors consider, has less complications. This technique requires more skill of the surgeon as it is more difficult to operate with the heart moving.
Endoscopic valve replacement is newer option and it gives a number of advantages as less body damage, shorter recovery, less pain and others. To access the heart a few punctures are made and, then, a camera and surgical tools are inserted inside pericardium. A surgeon controls manipulations on the monitor using robotic system for mitral valve replacement.
Sometimes the mitral valve can be accesses via catheter that inserted to the small incision in a groin. The technique is normally used for blocked mitral valve and similar to balloon angioplasty. A balloon tipped on the end of the catheter is delivered inside of contracted valve to open it. New valve also can be inserted to the diseases one using this technique.
Heart Surgery Department is specialized center of cardiovascular surgery of the Clinic of Braunschweig with highly professional team which in co-operation with the other departments and clinics provides a number of surgical procedures including the heart valve replacement. The head of the Department, Assistant Professor Dr. Wolfgang Harringer considers that the mission of the department is to help patients to find optimal way to restore normal ability of the heart and to make their life longer. Any treatment is advised based on benefit it could give to every individual patient. Surgery on valve replacement is carried out in the department different methods from traditional till newest ones.
If you have any questions on aortic or mitral valve replacement or wish to estimate the cost of procedure please contact us. We are here to help you and to restore your health.