Surgical teams at NYU Langone have developed advanced repair techniques that have been taught to hundreds of other surgeons from around the world. We specialize in complex repairs, with a success rate of about 95 percent. In most cases, our goal is to repair the patient’s valve, but there are times when transcatheter mitral valve replacement may be a better option.
Our range of treatment options sets us apart from most other centers. Our team specializes in three techniques for mitral valve repair: minimally invasive mitral valve repair, robotic mitral valve repair, and transcatheter mitral valve repair. Occasionally some patients require open heart surgery, also known as a sternotomy. With most mitral valve repair surgeries, our surgeons perform an annuloplasty, in which a synthetic band or ring is sewn around the mitral valve to restore it to its typical shape and size.
Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair
Cardiothoracic surgeons at NYU Langone are often able to repair the mitral valve using minimally invasive techniques that involve a small incision on the right side of the chest, either above or below the breast. The surgeon then inserts surgical instruments to access the heart and repair the valve.
Minimally invasive mitral valve repair requires general anesthesia and a heart–lung bypass machine, which performs the work of these organs during the procedure. You may spend four to seven days in the hospital and then recover for a few weeks at home.
This procedure typically results in less blood loss, less postoperative pain, less scarring, and a shorter recovery time than traditional open heart surgery, also known as a sternotomy.
Robotic Mitral Valve Repair
NYU Langone is one of the few medical centers in the country to offer robotic mitral valve repair.
Using robotic instruments, surgeons can make precise movements inside the heart in a range of motion the human hand isn’t capable of performing. During robotic surgery, a small camera provides surgeons with three-dimensional, magnified, high-definition views of the mitral valve.
Robotic procedures are performed through five pencil-sized incisions made between the ribs through the right chest wall. These robotic procedures require general anesthesia and the use of a heart–lung machine to perform the work of those organs during the surgery.
Similar to minimally invasive surgery, this procedure typically causes less blood loss, less postoperative pain, and less chance of infection, and it requires a shorter recovery time than traditional open heart surgery, also known as sternotomy. Most people require a three- to five-day stay in the hospital, as well as a few weeks of recovery at home. As with minimally invasive surgery, they can experience a better cosmetic result as well.
Sometimes our surgeons may perform sternotomy. Though sternotomy typically involves dividing the breastbone to access the heart, NYU Langone surgeons can often perform the procedure by making small incisions between the ribs on the right side of the chest. The incisions are typically larger than those used in minimally invasive or robotic mitral valve repair, but patients generally recover well.
During surgery, doctors reshape the mitral valve leaflets by removing excess tissue and suturing together the remaining segments. They may also close gaps in the leaflets or place sutures to help them function properly.
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