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Heart & Cardiology/When is the right time to have mitral valve surgery


Hi, my question is regarding mitral valve surgery.  I see that most recommendations say only when your mitral valve has severe regurgitation, but that appears to be controversial. If your have moderate regurgitation with a mildly dilated left ventricle and mild tricuspid regurgitation would that still warrant surgery?  I would think that once the valve starts affecting the pumping of the heart it would need to be fixed, especially when you are in your early 40's. Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.  Thanks.

Hi Dianne,
You are quite right that once heart function is affected it may be soon necessary to consider a repair. However, the precise timing of an operation is always a question of judgment. I would look at the rate of change, f.i. between the last few evaluations. If none, I'd probably recommend holding off longer. If a significant change is present since the previous test, I'd recommend surgery at this point to prevent worse. As far as the operation itself is concerned, it should be a disease specific repair, not a valve replacement. This requires a surgeon with extensive experience!
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Hope this helps,
Dr T

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