Mitral Valve Replacement and Repair

Heart disease affects more than 5 million people each year and some require heart valve replacement or repair surgery. The mitral valve may need to be replaced or repaired in order to treat heart valve disease such as mitral regurgitation and stenosis.

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.

On-X Mitral Heart Valves

On-X mitral heart valves utilize the most advanced mechanical heart valve technology on the market today. Only On-X heart valves are made with pure pyrolytic carbon; all other brands are made with a silicon-alloyed carbon that produces a rougher surface. It is also the only valve available that with leaflets that open all the way to 90°, parallel with the blood flow. All other mechanical valves use designs that restrict leaflets from opening parallel to the blood flow, creating turbulent flow and damaging blood, ultimately leading to blod clot formation or stroke.

A clinical trial to study outcomes of On-X mitral valve recipients with low dose warfarin is underway but not completed. Until the completion and analysis of study data, On-X LTI continues to recommend standard anticoagulation therapy for On-X mitral valve recipients.

If you are under 70 and need 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 Mitral Valve Surgery

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.

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