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Mitral Valve Replacement
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Mitral Valve Replacement?

Mitral valve replacement is done when the mitral valve is not working well. The mitral valve is on the left side of the heart. It allows blood to flow from the left upper chamber (left atrium) into the left lower chamber (left ventricle). When the valve is not working well, it may need to be replaced.

Healthy heart valves permit one-way flow of blood. Diseased valves either leak, causing back flow, or narrow, restricting flow. In either case, the condition can be life-threatening. Sometimes the valve can be repaired. At other times it must be replaced.

Rheumatic fever , infections, congenital defects (defects at birth), and degenerative disease (wear and tear) are the most common causes of mitral valve problems.

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have a mitral valve replacement, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Damage to the heart or other organs
  • Reaction to anesthesia

The demands of open heart surgery are severe. The better your general health, the less likely you will experience a complication. Some of the risk factors that must be evaluated before you undergo this procedure include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Cancer

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge...