Mitral Valve Replacement (Video)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mitral valve replacement is a surgical procedure in which a heart mitral valve is replaced by a mechanical or a biological tissue valve. Mitral valve replacement is typically performed robotically or manually, when the valve becomes too tight (mitral valve stenosis) for blood to flow into the left ventricle, or too loose (mitral valve regurgitation) in which case blood can leak into the left atrium and back up into the lung.

A mitral valve replacement procedure is performed under general anesthesia, which will keep the patient asleep during the whole surgery. The preferred method is to first make an incision under the left breast rather than through the breastbone in the front of the chest, to get to the heart. After the heart is exposed, blood must be rerouted to a heart-lung machine (cardiopulmonary bypass). An incision is made in the left atrium to expose the mitral valve. The valve is then replaced with either a biological or mechanical valve. Then after the functioning of the new valve is tested and confirmed, the heart is then closed with sutures. The patient is then taken off the cardiopulmonary bypass and blood is allowed to flow into the coronary arteries. If the heart does not beat on its own, an electric shock is used to start it. Then the chest is closed up.

Mitral Valve Replacement (Minimally Invasive) Video