Alternative treatments to a mitral valve replacement include taking prescription medications or having a different type of surgery.
Therapy through medications only serves to treat the symptoms of valve problems rather than the cause of them. Specific medications are given that can improve the effectiveness of each heartbeat, to remove excess fluids, and to control blood pressure. But, they will not make your valve better.
A possible alternative surgical treatment to valve replacement is called percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty. This is only used in cases of mitral narrowing that have minimal damage around the affected mitral valve. This procedure does not require surgery, but it is invasive. It consists of a long catheter being fed through an arterial IV that then reaches the mitral valve and breaks open the mitral narrowing through the use of a balloon. However, results of this procedure have not been promising, and it suffers from a high complication rate.
If you do have questions about these alternatives, you should discuss them with your doctor and decide which one, if any, is appropriate for you.