Treatment at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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Treatment for mitral valve disease depends on the severity of your condition and if your condition is becoming worse. Your treatment may include observation, medications or surgery.

Your doctor may recommend that you have surgery to repair or replace your mitral valve. Mitral valve surgery may be performed during open-heart surgery or minimally invasive heart surgery.

Mayo doctors have expertise and experience in performing minimally invasive heart surgery and other types of heart valve surgery to treat mitral valve disease.

In minimally invasive surgery, your surgeon and surgical team perform the procedure through small incisions in your chest.

Minimally invasive heart surgery to treat mitral valve disease includes:

  • Robot-assisted heart surgery. In robot-assisted heart surgery, a surgeon uses robotic arms to duplicate specific maneuvers used in open-heart surgeries.

    In this procedure, your surgeon sits at a remote console and views your heart in a magnified high-definition 3-D view on a video monitor. Your surgeon's hand movements are translated precisely to the robotic arms at the operating table, which move like a human wrist. At the operating table, a surgical team assists with the procedure and changes the surgical instruments attached to the robotic arms.

  • Thoracoscopic surgery. In thoracoscopic surgery, your surgeon inserts a long, thin tube (thoracoscope) containing a tiny high-definition video camera into a small incision in your chest. Your surgeon conducts the procedure using long instruments inserted through small incisions between your ribs.

People who have minimally invasive heart surgery may have quicker recovery times and less pain than those who have open-heart surgery. However, there are risks of complications, such as infection and bleeding. Your doctor will discuss with you the benefits and the risks of minimally invasive surgery and determine whether you're a candidate for the procedure.

Other minimally invasive procedures for mitral valve disease continue to be studied, such as catheter procedures to replace or repair mitral valves.

Sep. 03, 2014

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