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The mitral valve is one of four heart valves. Located on the left side of the heart, it allows for the smooth passage of blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle, and prevents the reversal of blood flow back into the left atrium. The left ventricle pumps blood into the aorta, where it is distributed throughout the body.
Mitral valve dysfunction can manifest either as regurgitation – a "leaky" valve – or valve stenosis, a narrowing of the valve. Both disorders can lead to blood pooling in the lungs and legs causing shortness of breath, swelling in the legs, and fatigue.
Mitral regurgitation is the most common mitral valve disease. 95% of mitral valve regurgitation cases can be treated with surgical repair or reconstruction of the valve.
Mitral valve stenosis restricts the normal opening of the valve. If the valve does not have any calcification, it can be opened via a balloon valvuloplasty in the cath lab. Valves with calcification can be treated with surgery in select cases. Calcified valves have to be surgically replaced with a biological or mechanical valve.
Minimally invasive mitral valve surgery is performed through a small incision (4-5 cm) in the patient's right ribcage, providing direct access to the heart. A 3D thoracoscope provides a magnified 3D view of the mitral valve.
This technique can be used for: