Mitral Valve Repair and Replacement

What are the Advantages of Mitral Valve Repair?

Maryland Heart Center surgeons always try to repair rather than replace valves. Clear advantages of mitral valve repair versus replacement include:

  • A lower mortality at the time of operation (1-2% for repair versus 6-8% for replacement).
  • A significantly lower risk of stroke, and a lower rate of infection.
  • Improved long-term survival with mitral valve repair.
  • Patients who receive a valve repair stay on the same survival curve as the normal population.
  • After mitral valve repair, blood thinners are not required, in contrast to the life-long requirement for blood thinners after mechanical mitral valve replacement.

Mitral valve repairs are very durable. Studies have shown that 95 percent of patients will have a perfectly working valve 20 years after mitral valve repair surgery.

Successful repair requires a dedicated surgical team. Surgeons at the University of Maryland Heart Center are able to repair about 92 percent of all mitral valves, which compares favorably to the national repair rate of approximately 55 percent.

This page was last updated: September 11, 2013

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