Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery

Your surgery for mitral valve replacement begins with an incision down the middle of the chest. The breastbone is separated, and the heart sac is pulled back. The heart is connected to the heart-lung bypass machine, and then the atrium is opened, allowing the surgeon to remove the mitral valve. The new valve is sewn in place, and the atrium is then closed with stitches.

Surgery for Mitral Valve Replacement: An Introduction

Mitral valve replacement surgery is a procedure that removes a defective mitral valve and replaces it with one that will work more efficiently.
 

Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery: The Surgery Itself

After your anesthesia takes effect (see Mitral Valve Replacement Anesthesia), the surgical area will be scrubbed with a special disinfectant soap and may also be shaved.
 
Your surgeon will then make a 6- to 8-inch incision down the middle of your chest. Your breastbone is then separated, the heart sac is carefully pulled back, and your heart is examined.
 
At this point, you will be given a large dose of a blood-thinning medicine, called heparin, to make sure that your blood does not clot. Your surgeon will then connect your heart to the heart-lung bypass machine with a plastic tube. Blood from your heart is then sent to the bypass machine through this tube. The machine supplies your blood with oxygen, and then pumps it back to the rest of your body through the other tube. While connected, your blood simply bypasses your heart and your lungs, but still reaches the rest of your body.
 
After the heart-lung bypass is established, your heart will need to be cooled to keep it still. Then, the mitral valve replacement procedure can begin.
 
The atrium is gently opened to reveal your mitral valve. Your surgeon will then carefully remove the old mitral valve. Then your doctor will select a mechanical or tissue replacement valve and will sew this into place with stitches. Once securely in place, the atrium will be closed with stitches.
 
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Info on Mitral Valve Replacement

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