Mitral valve disease care at Mayo Clinic

A team of doctors in a discussion Mayo Clinic care team

A team of doctors discusses care for people with mitral valve disease at Mayo Clinic.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in heart disease (cardiologists) work together with heart surgeons (cardiac surgeons) and other specialists to provide you with coordinated, comprehensive care. This collaborative approach means doctors can often evaluate you and develop a treatment plan within 2 or 3 days.

Individualized approach

At Mayo Clinic, an integrated practice care team of mitral valve disease doctors and specialists carefully develop treatment options personalized for you. Doctors at Mayo Clinic provide care for you as a whole person. They take the time to get to know you and work with you to provide exactly the care you need.

Two members of a Mayo Clinic care team in consultation with a patient. Heart valve disease discussion at Mayo Clinic

Two members of a Mayo Clinic care team in consultation with a patient.

Advanced diagnosis

Mayo Clinic doctors have experience using advanced imaging techniques, including echocardiography, 3D echocardiography and transesophageal echocardiography, to accurately diagnose mitral valve disease and other heart conditions, and to determine the cause of the condition.

Two doctors in a discussion Imaging discussion

Mayo Clinic doctors discuss a 3D echocardiogram.

Innovative treatment

Mayo Clinic doctors and surgeons perform innovative surgical procedures to conduct mitral valve repair and mitral valve replacement and other heart valve surgeries. Doctors repair the mitral valve when possible instead of replacing it, as it preserves the valve and may preserve heart function.

A surgeon at a remote console conducting robot-assisted heart surgery Robot-assisted heart surgery at Mayo Clinic

A Mayo Clinic surgeon sits at a remote console and uses robotic arms to conduct robot-assisted heart surgery. A surgical team assists at the operating table.

Mayo surgeons may sometimes perform robot-assisted heart surgery, a type of minimally invasive heart surgery in which surgeons use robotic arms to conduct the procedure.

Robot-assisted minimally invasive mitral valve repair at Mayo Clinic

In robot-assisted mitral valve repair surgery at Mayo Clinic, two board-certified cardiac surgeons use robotic equipment to perform the exact same procedure conducted in traditional open chest heart surgery, without needing to make a large incision through your breast bone. Your surgeons perform the procedure through small incisions in your right chest, using finger-sized instruments that are slipped in between your ribs. In this procedure, one surgeon sits at a remote console and views your heart using a magnified high-definition 3D view on a video monitor. Another surgeon works at the operating table and ensures the safe movement of the robotic arms. You'll need to be supported by a heart-lung bypass machine during the procedure. This will allow your surgeons to stop your heart briefly and insert instruments into the inner chambers to repair the mitral valve. Your surgeon uses robotic arms to duplicate specific maneuvers used in open-chest surgeries. The procedure is performed through small openings in your chest, through which will be inserted micro instruments and a thin high-definition camera tube or thoracoscope. One opening will be a mini working port through which surgeons will insert materials used during the procedure. Your surgeon performs the procedure from the remote console. 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, another surgeon works together with the surgeon at the console to perform the procedure and ensure it is conducted safely and efficiently. Your surgeon at the console can closely examine the complicated mitral valve problem using the high-definition 3D video monitor. This allows your surgeon to have a clearer, more lifelike perspective of your heart than is possible during open heart surgery, in which surgeons view the heart from a further distance.

To repair the mitral valve, your surgeon makes an incision in the left upper chamber or left atrium of your heart to access the mitral valve. Your surgeon can then identify the problem with your mitral valve and repair the valve itself. In mitral valve prolapse, the mitral valve, located between your heart's left atrium and the left lower chamber or left ventricle, doesn't close properly. The leaflets of the valve bulge or prolapse upward or back into the left atrium as your heart contracts. This leads to blood leaking backward into the left atrium, a condition called mitral valve regurgitation. To repair this condition, various complicated technical procedures are performed. Sometimes a small section of the leaflet, the part of the valve that doesn't close properly, is identified, and a triangular section is removed, as shown. Your surgeon then stitches the cut edges of the leaflet together to repair the valve.

In other cases, new chords or chordae supporting the broken leaflet are inserted. An annuloplasty band is then placed around the circumference of the valve to stabilize the repair. Your surgeon will close the incisions in your chest after the procedure. Mayo's staff will assist you during your recovery over a three-day period in the hospital. In robot-assisted heart surgery, most people have a quicker recovery, smaller incisions, and less pain than following open-chest surgery. Studies have also found that this procedure performed at Mayo Clinic is cost effective, with similar or lower total costs compared with traditional open-chest surgery.

A surgical team at the operating table during robot-assisted heart surgery Robot-assisted heart surgery team at Mayo Clinic

A Mayo Clinic surgeon and surgical team help with robot-assisted heart surgery, while another surgeon sits at a remote console controlling the robotic arms.

Expertise and rankings

A doctor and surgeon in a discussion Collaboration

A doctor and surgeon collaborate and discuss heart valve disease at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo doctors in the Valvular Heart Disease Clinic have extensive experience and expertise evaluating and treating people with heart valve disease. Mayo Clinic surgeons have extensive experience in performing mitral valve repair and replacement. Mayo doctors evaluate and treat more than 19,000 people with mitral valve disease each year.

Mayo doctors have experience evaluating and treating mitral valve regurgitation, mitral valve prolapse and mitral valve stenosis.

Doctors trained in treating children with heart conditions (pediatric cardiologists) work with pediatric cardiac surgeons at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota to treat children with mitral valve disease and other heart conditions.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic campuses are nationally recognized for expertise in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery:

  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2022–2023 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked as high performing for aortic valve replacement and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures by U.S. News & World Report. "High performing" is a designation given to the top 16% of TAVR programs across the nation (600+ programs). U.S News & World Report ranked hospitals for this procedure for the first time in 2022-2023.

With Mayo Clinic's emphasis on collaborative care, specialists at each of the campuses — Minnesota, Arizona and Florida — interact very closely with colleagues at the other campuses and the Mayo Clinic Health System.

Learn more about Mayo Clinic's cardiovascular surgery and cardiovascular medicine departments' expertise and rankings.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

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Nov. 11, 2021