The mitral valve is a major part of the heart situated between the lungs and the left ventricle. It helps to regulate blood flow and ensure that it moves in the right direction throughout the body.
If it becomes leaky (mitral valve regurgitation) or too narrow (mitral valve stenosis), it may need repair or replacement to keep the heart operating properly.
Mitral valve repair or replacement surgery is the second most common form of heart surgery performed in the United States.
Today, many mitral valve surgeries can be done with a minimally invasive approach, as opposed to traditional open-heart surgery which involves a larger incision in the breastbone, opening the rib cage, and several weeks, even months, of recovery time.
At CTVS, our board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons have extensive experience in minimally invasive mitral valve surgery, and minimally-invasive mitral valve surgery with robotic assistance.
How is minimally invasive mitral valve surgery performed?
It is accomplished with a short incision between the ribs and specialized endoscopic instruments along with microscopic cameras which are delicately maneuvered around the heart by the surgeon to complete the valve repair or replacement.
In robotic-assisted mitral valve surgery, the surgeon uses robotic arms equipped with instruments and a control system to navigate the procedure.
What are the benefits of minimally invasive mitral valve surgery?
According to CTVS board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Faraz Kerendi, there are numerous benefits to this approach.
“With the minimally invasive approach, there is potentially less bleeding, trauma, and less scarring due to the smaller incision,” explains Dr. Kerendi.
“There are also much shorter recovery times and most patients are cleared to resume their normal activities within two to three weeks afterwards as opposed to six or eight weeks with an open-heart surgical procedure.”
Who is best suited for minimally invasive mitral valve surgery?
Anyone who needs mitral valve surgery is a candidate for the minimally invasive approach if their anatomy is compatible.
Dr. Kerendi says other heart conditions that can also be addressed via this approach include atrial fibrillation, tricuspid valve disease, and atrial septal defects.
If you are in need of mitral valve repair or replacement surgery, Dr. Kerendi encourages patients to work with a surgeon who specializes in this type of minimally invasive procedure and has proven success in performing these operations.