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Mitral valve is the door that connects the left atrium and left ventricle. These are the two chambers of your heart that are oxygen-rich blood. Left atrium receives the blood from your lungs. Afterwards, it travels through your mitral valve to enter your left ventricle. Finally, your left ventricle pumps it out to the rest of your body through your aorta. It becomes really important to opt for minimally invasive mitral valve replacement or repair surgery if the mitral valve is leaky or narrow.

What is minimally invasive mitral valve repair?

Minimally invasive mitral valve repair is done through a small incision under direct vision. During this surgery, the surgeons trim, shape, or rebuild one or both of the flaps that open and close the valve. It’s a new age surgery that that skips sternotomy or rib cutting.

How is it performed?

The minimally invasive mitral valve repair is performed through the small space between the ribs. The heart lung machine is inserted via a small incision in the groin. This allows the heart to be stopped during the repair of the valve. Then, a soft retractor is inserted that allows the surgeon to insert specialised minimally invasive instruments. An endoscope, a 3D camera is mainly inserted that provides a high-resolution image of the mitral valve and helps repair it.

Symptoms that indicate that you must undergo minimally invasive mitral valve repair

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal heartbeat rhythm
  • Swelling in feet or ankles

Preparations to be done before minimally invasive mitral valve repair

Before the procedure, your doctor will take your physical exam, blood test and medical history in order to determine whether you are healthy enough to undergo the surgery or not. You would be advised to remove jewellery before the surgery begins. Avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight before your surgery.

Recovery process

You may spend three to four days in the hospital and then a few weeks at home to recover from minimally invasive mitral valve repair. The patient must follow given during the minimally invasive mitral valve repair recovery process:

  • Walk as much as possible
  • Don’t do heavy lifting
  • Watch if you don’t see any sign of swelling, redness or bleeding after surgery
  • Eat a healthy diet and maintain balanced weight. Avoid high fat food.
  • Stay away from smoke and second-hand smoke.

What is minimally invasive mitral valve replacement?

A minimally invasive mitral valve replacement is a procedure to replace a poorly working mitral valve with an artificial valve without a single small cut incision.

Who can go for minimally invasive mitral valve replacement?

Almost anyone can go for minimally invasive mitral valve replacement, except the one who has suffered from the problem of compressed nerves in the past.

What happens during minimally invasive mitral valve replacement?

A surgeon makes a small 2-to-4-inch incision in your chest to access the heart. The incision can be done through the breastbone, to the right of your breastbone, or between the ribs on your side. Then, the surgeon inserts special tools and a tiny camera through the incision to do the surgery. During this whole procedure, you will be attached to a heart-lung machine. A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) probe will be inserted into your oesophagus to let the surgeon look at the function of the valve before and after replacement. Finally, the team will sew or staple the incision in your skin back together.

Surgical Techniques for Mitral Valve Repair and Replacement Surgery

  • Open Heart Surgery: “Open heart surgery” is a surgical process which is performed by making a large incision, roughly 6-8”, in the chest to gain valve and repair it. During this kind of surgery, the heart is actually stopped and the patient gets connected to the heart-lung bypass machines that support the working of heart and lungs.
  • Minimally Invasive: In minimally invasive mitral valve repair and replacement surgery, surgeons make small incisions instead of longer ones. Cardiovascular surgeons use innovative, high-resolution imaging technology to send a 3-D image of the beating heart to the surgeon in real-time, allowing him to see the valve and repair the damage.
  • Robot-assisted heart surgery: Robot-heart surgery is a new approach to heart procedures that can be accomplished with less invasion of the body. Robotic assisted mitral valve repair uses a single incision and specialised instruments to repair heart valves easily and in a fast manner.
  • Catheter-based procedure: Catheter-based procedure for mitral valve repair is really effective. During this procedure, a catheter made of synthetic material is inserted via blood vessel in the groin. The physician uses imaging techniques to guide their movements while dilating the aortic valve using balloon inflation.

How do you prepare for Repair and Replacement Surgery?

Heart valve repair and replacement can significantly improve quality of life. Here at Micsheart, robotic heart valve repair program goes for two to five hours using the most advanced, minimally invasive techniques.

What preparation is done before minimally invasive mitral valve surgery?

Before minimally invasive mitral valve repair or replacement:

  • An echocardiogram and other tests are done to get more details about your heart condition.
  • The care providers review reports and guide you about what to expect during surgery and discuss any concerns you may have.
  • Talk to your healthcare providers about the medications
  • When you should stop drinking or eating the night before the surgery.
  • Share any allergy or reaction with certain medication you have suffered before.
  • Know the items that you should bring while your stay in the hospital like – a toothbrush, comb, comfortable wearing, books or portable music players.
  • During minimally invasive mitral valve repair recovery, avoid wearing eyeglasses, jewellery, contact lenses, dentures or nail polish.

Mitral Valve Repair and Replacement at Micsheart

Here at Apollo Hospital, Bangalore, the team led by Dr. Sathyaki Nambala brings a new dimension to mitral valve repair with the incorporation of robotic technology. The team has over 12 years of experience and MICS CABG is simply the largest Worldwide. We provide cutting-edge advantage that makes minimally invasive mitral valve repair or minimally invasive mitral valve surgery extremely safe for patients.

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