Dr. Craig Smith - How Does Mitral Valve Repair Compare with Mitral Valve Replacement?

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Mitral Valve Repair and Replacement are controversial as the virtues of one versus the other, but each has a role. Mitral valve replacement involves what it says, it replaces the mitral valve. Mitral valve repair uses a variety of technical strategies to preserve all or most of the patient's native mitral valve and achieve normal function at the end of it.

The goal of both replacement and repair is a well-functioning mitral valve obviously, but in one sense repair preserves more than a patient's tissue which arguably has virtues, and the other sense replacement eliminates some of the technical finesse of repair and guarantees a good quick outcome with a functioning valve.

There is a long discussion on the pros and cons, it's highly related to the problem the patient presents with, so a little difficult to quickly generalize, and one extreme patients with degenerative mitral valve disease that is in typically in younger people that's non-calcified, the primary goal would always be repair, although not achievable 100% of the time.

In an older population, calcified valves, poorly functioning hearts, complicated other problems, replacement is very often a better choice. So it's a spectrum.