Mitral Stenosis Treatment
Mitral stenosis can be treated with a number of surgical methods.
Mitral stenosis occurs when the mitral valve has narrowed, which limits blood flow and causes the upper chamber of the heart to swell as pressure increases. It is almost always caused by rheumatic fever, but can also be a congenital condition or the result of calcium deposits forming around the valve.
Tampa General Hospital offers a full spectrum of treatment for heart valve disorders, including mitral stenosis. Treatment for this condition most commonly involves valve repair or replacement.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be a candidate for:
- Balloon valvuloplasty – A minimally invasive procedure, balloon valvuloplasty involves inserting a catheter with a deflated balloon at its tip into a blood vessel and then guiding it to the mitral valve using imaging technology. Once in place, the surgeon will inflate the balloon to widen the valve. Then, he or she will deflate it and remove the catheter.
- Surgical commissurotomy – When a balloon valvuloplasty isn’t an option, a surgeon may recommend this open-heart alternative. During this procedure, the surgeon clears away calcium deposits and scar tissue to open up the mitral valve.
- Mitral valve replacement – For some patients, a valve replacement is their best option. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the mitral valve and replaces it with a biological tissue valve (made from pig, cow or human heart tissue) or a mechanical valve.
What to Expect From Mitral Stenosis Treatment
Mitral stenosis treatment is not without risks, although complications from these procedures are very rare. Some of the more common risks include:
- Complications from anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Organ damage
However, the benefits that patients experience far outweigh the rare risks. For example, treating this condition can preserve heart function and improve symptoms, allowing you to have better quality of life and potentially lead a longer one, too.
Effectiveness of Mitral Stenosis Treatment
Each type of mitral stenosis treatment offers a different level of effectiveness. For example:
- Balloon valvuloplasty is more effective in younger patients than older ones, with some older patients experiencing a re-narrowing of the valve within a year of the procedure.
- Surgical commissurotomy has been proven highly successful, with most patients surviving for 10 years or more.
- In mitral valve replacement, patients implanted with a biological tissue valve will likely need to have the procedure repeated, as these tissues degenerate over time.
The best way to ensure successful mitral stenosis treatment is to receive care at a leading heart hospital, like TGH. Our highly skilled cardiac specialists perform a wide range of treatments for many kinds of heart conditions, and U.S. News & World Report has recognized Tampa General Hospital as “high performing" in Cardiology & Heart Surgery, meaning we are ranked in the top 10% in the nation.