There are two main considerations to bear in mind when choosing a mitral surgeon: the risk of mortality and major complications, and the chances of getting a durable repair.
When you are selecting a mitral valve surgeon, you want to make sure they have experience with your specific type of mitral valve disease. It is particularly important for you to have a close to 100% chance of repair, with only around 1% risk of death or major complications, if you are considering surgery before you have experienced any symptoms. Most people with degenerative mitral valve disease have a very low risk of death or complications such as stroke after surgery. The most important consideration then becomes the probability of getting a durable valve repair. This depends on several factors – the complexity of the valve disease, the techniques used to repair it, and the experience of the surgical team. You should look for a surgeon who can offer a predicted repair rate close to 100% for your particular valve problem based on their previous experience and results. This is because several studies have shown that people who receive a replacement valve instead of a successful repair are less likely to survive in the long term, and have higher rates of complications such as stroke, and need for reoperation.