What Symptoms Indicate the Need for Mitral Valve Replacement?

Mitral Valve Replacement - Sri Ramakrishna Hospital

The heart comprises valves on both the left and right sides; the mitral valve is one of the valves on the left side of the heart chamber, named the left atrium, and the lower-left chamber is referred to as the left ventricle. 

These valves have a vital function in managing blood flow. The mitral valve is responsible for the blood flow from the left atrium to the ventricle. While the heart contracts, the valve closes to prevent backward blood flow. If the mitral valve is defective, the blood can flow to the lungs, making it a concerning issue. 

If the defect is not treated at the right time and the function is not restored, it can lead to weakness in the heart muscles, resulting in heart dilation. 

The complications that can follow if a defective mitral valve is not treated at the right time:

Problems can happen very rarely, and they might include the following:

The most common heart disorders that need mitral valve replacement are:

Mitral valve stenosis:

Mitral valve stenosis is when the entry of the mitral valve gets smaller. This can make it hard for the valve to open and close normally, slowing blood flow through the heart. Over time, stenosis can make the left atrium and lungs have high blood pressure, making it hard to breathe.

Mitral valve prolapse:

The most common reason for mitral valve repair is myxomatous degeneration of a valve, also called “floppy valve” or “mitral valve prolapse.” It happens when the mitral valve’s leaflets get loose or floppy, and the valve doesn’t open and close correctly. It usually doesn’t cause any symptoms, so there’s no need to treat it.

In more serious cases, however, the condition can lead to mitral valve regurgitation, in which blood flows back into the lungs. This could lead to heart dilation, a condition in which the heart’s walls stretch and weaken. As a result, problems with the heart’s rhythm, such as atrial fibrillation, may happen. Almost all myxomatous degeneration-caused valves that leak can be fixed with mitral valve replacement surgery.

The signs that indicate the need for mitral valve replacement:

Mitral valve disease has two main types: mitral regurgitation/insufficiency, prolapse, and stenosis. The symptoms of each type are different. However, some of the mitral valve replacement indications are:

The signs of mitral valve insufficiency:

Some of the main symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation or insufficiency are:

  • Gasping for breath
  • Intolerance to fatigue and exercise
  • Heartbeat at a rapid pace (palpitations)
  • Pain in the chest

The indications of mitral valve stenosis that require mitral valve replacement:

Mitral valve prolapse could cause mild or slow-to-come-on symptoms. Among them are:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Not enough air to breathe
  • Chest pain

If you’re experiencing any signs, contact the best hospital for mitral valve repair replacement to avoid complications. 

The mitral valve stenosis symptoms can indicate the following:

For some people, shortness of breath is the main and sometimes only sign of mitral stenosis. The heart gets weaker as the disease worsens because it has to work harder to push blood through a tight, small valve opening. Some of the signs of mitral valve stenosis are:

The major types of mitral valve replacement surgeries can include:

Open-heart surgery:

This procedure involves the traditional method of making a larger incision. In this type of procedure, the recovery period is quite long.

Minimally invasive procedure:

This method involves making smaller cuts in the chest. Regarding pain and time in the hospital, minimally invasive surgical intervention may be better than open-heart surgery. Most of the time, experts skilled in the procedure perform minimally invasive heart procedures.

Robot-assisted valve replacement:

A minimally invasive procedure in which robotic arms are utilized to conduct the same motions as in open-heart surgery.

Catheter-based procedure:

Which is done in a lab by a heart doctor. In this kind of treatment, a slender, flexible tube is put into a vein and led to the heart. The catheter can send tools to the mitral valve to fix or replace it.

Different other procedures can include:

Annuloplasty:

Surgeons make the ring surrounding the valve tighter or stronger (annulus). Annuloplasty can be used independently or with other methods to fix a heart valve.

Valvuloplasty:

A catheter technique termed balloon valvotomy is performed to fix a narrowed opening of the mitral valve. Your doctor will place a balloon-tipped catheter into the artery in the groin or arm and direct it to your mitral valve. Inflating the balloon enlarges the mitral valve’s aperture. After deflating the balloon, the catheter is taken out as well.

Mitral valve clip:

In this surgery, the surgeon directs a slender tube with a clip attached to the end via an artery in the groin to the mitral valve. The clip is used to repair a ripped or leaking mitral valve leaflet. If you have serious mitral valve regurgitation and are not a suitable candidate for mitral valve surgery, your doctor may suggest this option.

Who needs to undergo mitral valve replacement?

If your disease is mild, you might not need surgery. Instead, your doctor may give you medicine to help with your symptoms. But the specialist will watch the situation closely. They will do a regular echocardiogram to check on your heart. If your valve disease gets worse or hurts your heart, you may require surgery in the future.

  • You may need to fix your mitral valve if:
  • The regurgitation or insufficiency is causing symptoms
  • Your left ventricle doesn’t send enough blood to the rest of the body.
  • An enlarged heart.
  • Severe mitral valve stenosis is associated with serious symptoms or a narrow valve opening. But your doctor might first try other methods, such as balloon mitral valvotomy.

Important takeaway:

Surgical repair of the mitral valve can restore the strength and energy you’ve been lacking. At times, mitral valve replacement is a complex procedure. Before confirming the procedure, speak to your surgeon to get complete knowledge. Then, book an appointment for heart valve failure treatment in Coimbatore to get a complete recovery.


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