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Mitral Valve Surgeons In My Area
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Mitral Valve Surgeons In My Area

Four years ago I had a successful mitral valve repair (open heart) . My cardiologist nows says a recent Echo shows a small quirt of blood going back into the chamber.  He consulted w/the same surgeon who did the earlier procedure and they say there is no immediate danger, to continue my exercise routine (I do 3 - 4 cardio workouts weekly) and they will do another Echo in a year.

I guess I've lost my comfort level and wonder whether the surgeon is as objective since the original repair may not have been successful.

Question:  Can you recommend a surgeon in Connecticut (I live near Hartford), or elsewhere in New England, who specializes in, and who has an excellent reputation performing mitral valve repairs.  I've read about the minimally invasive procedure using the daVinci as used at the Cleveland Institute, and after having been through an open heart surgery previously, the robotic surgery sounds like it may be a bit more pleasant on the patient.   Of course, I would love being told that I don't need surgery again.    
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Hartford hospital used to have a great MV repair surgeon, Dr. Henry Low.  He trained a surgeon who still operates there and is very good, Yoshi Takata.  I am not sure that you need surgery based on what you told me.  What's important to find out is where the regurgitation is coming from.  If it's from the coaptation point, than that's normal and just needs to be followed.  On the other hand, if the regurgitant jet is coming from around the ring than that's more converning and should probably be fixed.  Since regular echo is not very good at telling those two apart, TEE is frequently performed to resolve this issue.  Other finds that help are that patient who have these paravalvular leaks may be symptomatic, especially with exertion, and they may also develop hemolysis which would be evident on simple blood tests which your cardiologist can look into.  If you do need surgery, since it would be a second operation I would not recommend robotics.  I think that open heart surgery would have a higher chance of success in this situation.
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Before you lose all confidence in your surgeon, you might wish to investigate a bit more to learn it is not unusual for mitral valve repairs to sometimes fail.  It is definitely not unheard of and usually not result of 'surgical error'.  It is the nature of the surgery.

I recently had valve replacement after my surgeon attempted a repair during that surgery.  He determined he could not do a repair he was satisifed with.  We discussed this in advance and he honored my wishes for a bovine replacement valve if replacement was deemed necessary.

A very fine cardio thoraxic surgeon at Mass General Hospital in Boston did my surgery and I was very, very satisfied with every aspect of my care there.  This was my second OHS.....the first being emergency bypass.

Good luck.  Hope you can safely put off a second OHS at least for a while.  Don't wait too long though.  If your doctors start to indicate it is time, listen.  You don't want irreversible heart damage.  There also is a point of 'no return'.
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I'm in the same boat. Had my surgery 5 years ago and their is a recurrance of re-gurg. Cardio is keeping a check..I have appt. end of Aug.The prospects of a re-do are not thrilling to say the least. I have battled weight and b/p issues over the past several years which probably have not helped matters but I seem to getting a handle on that.

I  have confidence  in the surgeon I used....he has has done thousands in the Philadelphia area...although i will do my due diligence again if need be.(hopefully not)

Good Luck.
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Thank you all.


Ken 2186
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