The mitral valve sits between the left atrium and left ventricle, and is comprised of two leaflets, anterior and posterior. When the mitral valve is open, it allows blood to pass from the atrium to the ventricle. When closed, it prevents blood from backing up into the atrium as the ventricle pumps blood out of the heart.
When the mitral valve does not function properly, it can cause excessive leakage of blood back into the left atrium. In its most severe form, it can cause blood to back up into the lungs and cause deterioration of heart function. Together, these conditions are called congestive heart failure.
While initially, most valves had to be replaced, the mitral valve can now be successfully repaired in over 90% of patients with mitral valve regurgitation. Mitral valve repair has significant advantages over replacement, as it is associated with better long term outcomes and less need for future surgery.
Visit the NYCTG's website to learn more about Mitral Valve Repair Surgery.