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How Many Times Can You Replace A Mitral Valve?

Mitral valve replacement

The answer to this question varies greatly depending on the patient's health and the age of the valve. Generally, the mitral valve can be replaced two to three times, but this mainly depends on the patient's lifestyle and pre-existing conditions. During the procedure, doctors will assess the patient's heart health and may extend the life of the replacement valve with additional procedures. As a result, a patient can have a valve replaced more than three times in their lifetime.

If you had a heart valve repair or replacement, the procedure might have to be repeated. Repairs are chosen over replacements because of the prospect of longer durability.

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What Is A Mitral Valve?

It is a tiny flap in the heart that prevents blood from flowing in the incorrect direction. The valve's malfunctions impact how blood circulates throughout the body.

Problems that affect the mitral valve;

  • Mitral valve prolapse

  • Mitral regurgitation

  • Mitral stenosis

Mitral Valve Prolapse: This condition is characterized by the mitral valve being too floppy and failing to close tightly. Dizziness, shortness of breath, exhaustion, arrhythmias, and palpitations are some of the symptoms. It is brought on by issues with the tissues that connect the heart muscles to the mitral valve. Simple lifestyle changes like giving up smoking, cutting back on caffeine, abstaining from alcohol, and scheduling regular checkups can help if you are symptom-free. If you experience symptoms, beta blockers and mitral valve surgery might be necessary.

Mitral Regurgitation: This condition occurs when the valve does not close, causing blood to flow backwards through the heart. Chest pain, exhaustion, breathlessness, and dizziness are some symptoms. Atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension, and heart failure can develop due to untreated mitral regurgitation. You may require diuretics, atrial fibrillation medications, open heart surgery, or keyhole surgery if symptoms are present. Causes include coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy, endocarditis, a too-floppy mitral valve, and a muscle surrounding the valve that has grown too wide. 

Mitral Stenosis: The improper opening of the mitral valve restricts blood flow through the heart. Some symptoms include palpitations, chest pain, fatigue, and breathlessness. Heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and atrial fibrillation can result from untreated mitral stenosis. You might also require diuretics and mitral valve surgery to replace the valve if your symptoms are severe. Mitral stenosis is primarily brought on by rheumatic heart disease.

Mitral Valve Procedures

What Is Valve Repair?

A valve repair has a good track record of success when treating congenital valve defects.

A few of the techniques surgeons use to repair a valve include;

  • Commissurotomy

  • Valvuloplasty

  • Reshaping

  • Decalcification

  • Repair

  • Patching

Severe valve damage necessitates valve replacement. Two different types of valves can be replaced;

  • Mechanical: These are typically made of metal, plastic, or carbon. Their durability is excellent, and they last a lifetime. Patients with these valves must take blood-thinning medications for the rest of their lives because blood adheres to them and can cause clots.

The valve itself may occasionally continue to deteriorate with time, depending on the cause of the initial repair. Similar to mechanical valves, tissue replacement valves are known to malfunction over time (typically in the second decade), and even mechanical valves can experience problems in the future that may necessitate reoperation.

  • Biological: These are created using animal tissue or donated human heart tissue. Blood-thinning medications are typically not necessary for patients with biological valves. However, because they are not as durable as mechanical valves, these valves might require replacement every 10 to 15 years. Most of the time, biological valves are used in elderly patients because they degrade even more quickly in children and young adults.

Due to complications that plague mechanical or bioprosthetic valves, such as degeneration, two or three cardiac reoperations may be necessary after the first successful valvular surgery. 


Patients with high-risk factors or who have had multiple surgeries should seek treatment at facilities with a high volume of patients and seasoned surgical and support staff.

If you need to have a heart reoperation, know that these operations are becoming safer and more successful every year, especially when a skilled surgeon performs the procedure at a facility with a high volume of patients. For the best results, take your time when selecting your hospital and surgeon.

puneetha.o Author Name

Puneetha Ongole is a creative content writer. Writing is her passion, and she never tires of inspiring and educating people.

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Dr. Nishtha Kalra Reviewer Name
Dr. Nishtha Kalra

Dr. Nishtha Kalra is a healthcare specialist who has been assisting patients with their medical needs for the past 12 years. She is dedicated to bridging the gap between complex medical information and the general public. She looks forward to contributing her expertise to ensure that individuals can access trustworthy, well-informed, and accessible healthcare knowledge.

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