CardioSpecialists Group, Ltd.
About Port Access Mitral Valve Repair

What Is Port Access Mitral Valve Repair?

This procedure is used to fix faulty mitral valves. Problems that can be remedied by port access mitral valve repair include a narrowing of the valve, known as stenosis, or a leaking of the valve, known as regurgitation. Port access means that opening the entire chest to reach the heart can be avoided, and several small cuts can be made to perform the procedure instead.

How Is the Procedure Performed?

One cut made in your thigh will be used to feed tubes to attach your heart to a heart-lung machine. This machine will replace the function of your heart during the surgical procedure. Another cut through your neck will give the surgeon access to your heart to administer drugs to stop the heart muscle's contractions. Since your blood is being oxygenated and pumped to your body with the heart-lung machine, you will not need the heart to be beating during the surgery. With your heart still, the surgeon can better perform his duties in the surgery. A small cut will be made in your armpit where a camera and the tools used for the procedure will be put. This camera will act as the eyes of the surgeon during the repair.

There are three different types of mitral valve repair: chordae tendinae repair, annuloplasty, and valvuloplasty. The one chosen by your surgeon will be based upon the cause of malfunction in your mitral valve.

Valvuloplasty is used to fix a valve that has either an overgrown cusp (leaflet) or has cusps that have grown together. Annuloplasty is used to strengthen the collagen ring around the valve. This can be done by itself or with other procedures. Chordae tendinae repair is used to fix overstretched or torn strings that attach the tissues of the mitral valve.

After the Procedure

After the procedure, your heart will be restarted and slowly, you will be taken off of the heart-lung machine. You will need to tell your doctors and dentists that you have had mitral valve repair so that these health care providers can take additional precautions to prevent infection. You will need to take medications to reduce the chance of getting a blood clot at the repair site, and be on the lookout for infections, which you will have a higher risk of for the rest of your life. 

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