Encyclopedia / M / Mitral Valve Replacement

Mitral Valve Replacement


Mitral Valve Replacement is the surgical removal of a damaged or dysfunctional mitral valve in the heart and replacing it with a mechanical valve or a pig valve.


The heart's valves perform the important function of ensuring blood flow in the correct direction. The mitral valve directs the flow of blood from the left atrium into the left ventricle, and the aortic valve allows blood to pass from the left ventricle into the aorta.

The tricuspid and pulmonary valves perform the equivalent task on the right side but are under considerably less pressure and, although they may suffer from similar disorders, are less likely to be so severely impaired as to require surgery.

When the valve opening between the upper and lower chambers on the left side of the heart (mitral valve) becomes severely blocked (mitral stenosis), it usually requires surgery. Because the narrowing of the valve may cause blood to back up into the lungs, careful monitoring of symptoms such as shortness of breath is required, and surgery may be necessary to prevent serious heart failure.

When the mitral valve closes improperly (mitral insufficiency or regurgitation), the desirability of surgery is usually determined by how severely the symptoms affect the patient's lifestyle and how well they can be controlled by medical treatment.


What is the problem with my mitral valve?

Is there stenosis (narrowing) or is it mitral insufficiency (regurgitation)?

What are the treatment options?

Is replacement necessary?

Do you recommend a mechanical or a tissue valve?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of these two types?