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Effects of Mitral Valve Surgery on Childbearing Potential
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Effects of Mitral Valve Surgery on Childbearing Potential


  I'd like to start off by saying "thanks" for this forum.  I've been reading it for two months, and have learned a lot.
  My wife is 25 years old.  She was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse at a young age.  She has no symptoms of fatigue or arrythmia whatsoever.  In fact, she's an extremely active professional in excellent general health.  The MVP is, however, causing severe mitral regurgitation.  Her left ventricle is enlarged to 5.5 CM.  We're currently in a holding pattern -- waiting until it enlarges beyond 5.5 CM before she has surgery.
  Our cardiologist has stated that he's confident her valve is repairable.  However, we're aware that we need to consider replacement options in case it's determined on the operating table that a repair is infeasible.
  We would like to have children in 4-5 years.  I understand that she must have the valve problem remedied before bearing a child. I also understand that implanting a mechanical valve will require drugs which preclude the pregnancy option.  What I don't know is:
  1.  Assuming a successful mitral valve repair, is childbearing possible?
  2.  Generally speaking, are there statistics with respect to the longevity of a mitral valve repair procedure using the standard 'ring" techniques?  (In other words, how long do repair-jobs typically last?).
  3.  Should my wife require replacement, such as a pig-valve or human (cadaver) valve, would childbearing be possible?  if so, how risky is it?
  Thanks in advance for your time.  If anyone has had a similar procedure in the past, and wouldn't mind writing, I'd be interested in reading any e-mails relating your experiences.
  Christian
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Dear Christian,
1) In the case of a successful mitral valve repair, yes childbearing is very possible.
2) Mitral valve repair is in its' infancy so to speak, or maybe in its early years I should say, such that
we do not have 'statistics' regarding longevity, however, technically speaking it should last many years (much longer than a tissue valve replacement which degenerates over 10 or so years.)
3) The only risk a woman takes in opting for a tissue valve replacement instead of a mechanical so that she can bear children, is the
fact that surely she will require a re-replacement in the future.  In the best situation, she will have her kids in the 10 years or so while the tissue valve is functioning well, followed by re-replacement
after child-bearing with a mechanical valve (which can last forever.)  You need to discuss the fact that your children will need to be 'beared' so to speak in the years of the tissue valve, before it starts to
degenerate.  

I hope this information is useful. Information provided in the heart forum is for
general purposes only. Only your physician can provided specific diagnoses and therapies.
Feel free to write back with further questions. Good luck!
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please
call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at
www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the
cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your
cardiac problem.





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