Increasing Mitral Valve Repair Rates With Nonresectional Techniques

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In every common mitral pathology studied to date, repairing the patient's own diseased valve to adequate function has yielded superior long-term results as compared with prosthetic valve replacement with either tissue or mechanical devices. Thus, increasing rates of mitral repair across all valve pathologies would seem to be a logical clinical goal. Techniques for mitral valve repair have undergone continual evolution over the past 50 years. Recently, emphasis has been placed on preserving leaflet surface area and avoiding tissue resection, by combining the methods of Gore-Tex artificial chordal replacement, autologous pericardial leaflet augmentation, and full ring annuloplasty. Using combinations of these three techniques appropriate to the given valve pathology, acute mitral repair rates now are approximating 98% for all common mitral disease etiologies. Simultaneously, operative mortalities for mitral repair have fallen significantly and now are negligible, whereas long-term outcomes using these methods have been increasingly more stable. As a result of innovations from multiple sources, mitral valve surgery has been converted from a higher risk procedure to one of the safest operations in most centers. This review will detail the technical application of “nonresectional” mitral repair approaches to a broad range of mitral disease pathologies.

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