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Mark Spindler
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Mitral Valve Replacement and Repair

Mitral Heart Valve Replacement Options

Mitral heart valves can be surgically replaced with artificial or prosthetic heart valves. There are two types of prosthetic heart valves, tissue valves and mechanical valves. Tissue valves are not as durable as mechanical valves, and are much more likely to require reoperation due to early failure, especially for younger patients.

The American Heart Association recommends tissue valves for patients older than 70 and mechanical valves for patients age 60 or younger. Either valve type is reasonable for patients between the ages of 60 and 70, depending on the patient’s health and life expectancy. The choice of heart valve should be made between the patient and their doctor.

All mechanical valve patients require anticoagulation therapy with warfarin which creates a risk of harmful bleeding. Around one-third of tissue valve patients require anticoagulation after surgery. Even though anticoagulation is not prescribed for all tissue valve patients, there is still a similar risk for complications such as stroke as there is for properly anticoagulated mechanical valves.

Heart disease affects more than 5 million people each year and some require heart valve replacement surgery.

On-X Mitral Heart Valves

If you are under 70 and need a mitral valve replacement, ask your doctor about the On-X Mitral Heart Valve.

Mitral Valve Repair

In many cases, diseased mitral valves can be repaired rather than replaced. In mitral valve repair, most of the original valve tissue is spared. The structure surrounding the valve is surgically supported and repaired in a way the fixes the shape and function of the valve. Only a heart surgeon can determine if a mitral valve is in good enough condition that it can be repaired rather than replaced.

Minimally Invasive and Transcatheter Options

There are minimally invasive surgical techniques for mitral valve repair and for implanting heart valves, including the On-X valve. Ask your doctor if you are a candidate to receive an On-X Mitral Valve with minimally invasive surgery.