Franciscan Health surgeons have been pioneers in mitral valve repair and research. Mitral valve repair is the best option for nearly all patients with a leaking or narrowed mitral heart valve.
The cardiovascular surgeons at Franciscan Health are pioneers in mitral valve repair and in treating the most complex cases, using the latest devices and participating in landmark research. Our Indianapolis hospital was the first in the world to use groundbreaking technology allowing patients to repair and re-grow healthy heart tissue. As a consequence, nearly all leaking mitral valves are repaired rather than replaced. A repair rate of nearly 98 percent for patients with leaking mitral valves provides patients with ideal outcomes.
Mitral valve repair is the best option for nearly all patients with a leaking mitral valve and for many with a narrowed (stenotic) mitral valve. Compared to valve replacement, mitral valve repair provides better long-term survival, better preservation of heart function, lower risk of complications, and usually eliminates the need for long-term use of blood thinners (anticoagulants). For these reasons, our surgeons are committed to mitral valve repair, when possible.
Franciscan Health heart valve surgeons perform all mitral valve repairs through a two to three inch incision on the right side of the chest. In many cases, we can employ the surgical robot and limit the incision size to only one inch.
A minimally invasive approach through the center of the chest is available for selected patients whose anatomy is best addressed through this incision. Minimally invasive approaches may also be used for patients who require aortic valve or tricuspid valve surgery, alone or in combination with mitral valve surgery.
Advantages of minimally invasive approaches include:
We evaluate each patient for minimally invasive surgery and work with the patient to choose the best and safest approach.
Mitral Valve Repair and Other Conditions
The decision to prescribe medical treatment or proceed with surgical repair or replacement is based on the patient’s type of heart valve disease, the severity of damage, the age and medical history.