Mitral Valve Repair

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Interventional cardiologists can perform mitral valve procedures without open heart surgery to address mitral regurgitation or mitral stenosis. Left untreated, any of these structural heart valve conditions can put enough strain on the heart muscle to cause heart failure and a variety of other medical issues.

In mild cases, you can manage symptoms with healthy lifestyle changes and medication. Previously, the primary treatment for severe cases has been open heart surgery. But new advancements have made minimally invasive mitral valve repairs or replacements available to more patients.

Severe cases of mitral valve disease can cause conditions such as atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension or heart failure.

The board-certified and fellowship trained cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons at the Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Structural Heart Program have the experience and access to the latest treatments to help you fix your faulty mitral valve.

The medical providers in the Structural Heart Program work as a team so you benefit from their varying viewpoints — it’s like getting multiple opinions at once. They’ll evaluate the severity of your condition, consider your age, the structure of your heart valves and the overall condition of your heart to arrive at a customized treatment plan.

Mitral regurgitation and mitral stenosis patients can benefit from a minimally invasive repair or replacement of the mitral valve. The specialists in the Structural Heart Program have the experience to know when to recommend one procedure or the other — or whether to address your symptoms with medication alone.

Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair

While the transcatheter mitral valve repair is a newer procedure, the Structural Heart Program’s multidisciplinary team of interventional cardiologists and imaging specialists have been performing it for years.

The transcatheter mitral valve repair treats mitral valve regurgitation. With this condition, the mitral valve’s leaflets, or flaps, don’t close completely, allowing some blood to flow backward into the heart when the powerful left ventricle squeezes to push oxygenated blood out to the body. The result is strain on the heart and backed up blood that can lead to heart failure.

Our interventional cardiologists thread a thin catheter through blood vessels to the site of the faulty mitral valve and place a clip, MitraClip, on the two leaflets of the mitral valve to help it close completely. While the clip is in place, real-time images show how well it’s working, and adjustments to the clip can provide additional reduction in leakage.

With the clip in place, your interventional cardiologist removes the catheter and tools.

There’s no incision in your chest or need for a heart-lung machine to do the work of your heart. The mitral valve repair procedure takes a few hours, and typically you’d be home in one to three days.

Most people experience improvement in their leaky valve-related symptoms a short time after the procedure.

Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement

A transcatheter mitral valve replacement also uses minimally invasive methods, but your cardiologist will implant a new valve rather than attempt to fix the existing one.

Minimally invasive transcatheter mitral valve replacement can help patients with mitral regurgitation or mitral stenosis — a narrowing of the valve that limits blood flow. Open heart surgery to replace the valve isn’t an option for some patients, and transcatheter mitral valve replacement can improve quality of life dramatically.

There are two types of transcatheter mitral valve replacements to treat mitral valve disease.

  • Valve-in-valve replacement replaces a previously implanted prosthetic valve. Prosthetic valves made from animal tissue can last up to 20 years.
  • In select patients, native valve replacement takes the place of your original valve.

Like a transcatheter mitral valve repair, a replacement does not require an incision in your chest or stopping your heart temporarily. The tools and replacement valve are threaded to your heart with a catheter that is inserted in a blood vessel in your groin. Usually, no stitches are needed.

Patients typically go home after three days in the hospital.

Heart and Vascular Care for the Whole Person

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute offers patient resources to support you and your family, including free classes for people of all ages who are seeking to improve cardiovascular health or living with a heart condition.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Our cardiac rehabilitation providers are leaders in developing and applying innovative techniques that can help you recover and resume your life.

Connecting Hearts Support Group

The group provides education and support to individuals who have had a heart attack, are living with a heart condition or are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Heart Health Screenings

Prevention is the best way to manage heart disease, and screenings are available to detect early signs of cardiac and vascular disease and identify risk factors.

About Norton Heart & Vascular Institute

Every year, about 250,000 people in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Heart & Vascular Institute specialists for their heart and vascular care. That’s more than any other health care provider.

  • Norton Healthcare’s four adult-service hospitals in Louisville are American College of Cardiology accredited Cycle VI Chest Pain Centers — the highest level of expertise to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
  • You have access to more than 45 board-certified cardiovascular physicians and more than 35 advanced practice providers with specialized training and experience in a comprehensive range of conditions and treatments.
  • Patients can make appointments at 27 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Telecardiology is offered at more than 30 sites in the region.
  • Norton Audubon Hospital, a key location for Norton Heart & Vascular Institute services, has been recognized with a HeartCare Center National Distinction of Excellence year after year by the American College of Cardiology. This is the only hospital in Louisville to be recognized for this distinction.
  • The American Heart Association (AHA) awarded Norton Audubon Hospital the Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center Gold Plus recognition for consistently providing the highest level of heart attack care.
  • Norton Healthcare is the only health care system in Kentucky to receive the prestigious Mission: Lifeline Regional Trailblazer Award from the AHA for creating a system of care for the most severe type of heart attacks.
  • Communicate with your health care provider, renew prescriptions, get lab results and more through your free MyNortonChart account.

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