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British Heart Foundation
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Mitral Valve repair unsuccessful

I was diagnosed with severe regurgitation 18 months ago, although I had very few symptoms. I had a mitral valve repair last November (2016) and was told by the surgeon that it should be fairly straightforward as I was relatively young (65) and fit (still played sports and was active).

I was in theatre and on bypass for a lot longer than planned and the op didn’t go as well as expected. Apart from being readmitted with plural effusion the first scans showed I still had a leak. A year later this is now a ‘Moderate to Severe’ leak – so virtually back to where I started from.

I have been trying to find out some data for success rates of mitral valve repair as my surgeon said they didn’t have that data (which I don’t believe). Does anyone know of any reliable sources?

4 Replies

Hi PhilC273, I don't have any reliable sources for you, but I can tell you that I am in the same position as yourself.

I had mitral valve repair in 2007 as I had severe regurgitation, after the surgery the leak was mild and over the last few years it is now back to severe. At the time I considered a repair to be the better option but as I am now on the waiting list for a 2nd lot of heart surgery I often wonder if I made the right choice. But then again hindsight is a wonderful thing !

Best wishes


Sorry to hear this PhilC. I had a mitral valve repair 3 months ago and was readmitted needing a pleural and pericardium effusion. I am feeling well but have a nagging suspicion the repair will not last forever and wonder if I will have to go through with the op again. I hope you get looked after by your cardiologist.


Hi PhilC

I am so sorry to hear this PhilC, All I can do is share my experience with you.

I am 4 week’s post open heart surgery at Harefield. I needed 5 procedures, there are details of my op and time in hospital on my last post so won’t go into detail about it all again. My mitral valve leakage was at severe at tome of op. My wonderful surgeon tried three times to repair my valve, each time restarting my heart to test it. All to no avail, I had a congenitally defective flap that just wouldn’t be successfully repaired as well as some rheumatic damage when ch cnfrmed that I had rheumatic fever as a child.

I had discussed everything with my surgeon before hand and had expressly requested that if repair was not successful and going to last that I would like a mechanical replacement. At 63 I felt this the best option, having to take Warfarin fro the rest of my life was a small price to pay and preferable to having a tissue replacement which would need to be replaced every ten years. I am having no problems with my mechanical replacement and unlike some do not hear it ticking.

If you need to go down the route of a replacement you will need to make your own decision as to which type. As I understand it you maybe able to opt for minimally invasive surgery instead of opening the sternum again, if this was the method used last time.

Best of luck and stay positive, most things can be sorted.

Dory x❤️


I had mitral valve repair in January of this year and so far so good. Had a high heart rate after op which meds saw to. Hope you get it sorted.


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