Traditional vs. robotic surgery incisionMitral Valve Repair Surgery

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital now offers minimally invasive mitral valve repair surgery using the state-of-the-art da Vinci surgical robot. An alternative to open surgery - the traditional way to treat mitral valve disease - this new approach enables the surgeon to operate with unparalleled precision and control through a few small incisions.

Understanding the Benefits

In addition to avoiding the pain and trauma of sternotomy and rib spreading, robotic mitral valve repair may provide patients with the following benefits over open surgery:

  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and need for blood transfusions
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Significantly less pain and scarring
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities
  • And a potentially better clinical outcome

Am I a Candidate for Robotic Mitral Valve Surgery?

Please note that not all patients are candidates for robotic surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with the most appropriate treatment option after thoroughly assessing your condition.

What Is the Mitral Valve?

The mitral valve controls blood flow through the left side of the heart. When it opens, the mitral valve allows blood to flow into the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber. When the left ventricle contracts, the mitral valve closes in order to prevent blood from flowing back toward the lungs. Sometimes the mitral valve is abnormal from birth. It can also become damaged by infection, with age or from heart disease.

What Is Mitral Valve Prolapse?

If the mitral valve leaflets cannot tightly seal the left ventricle, this is called prolapse. With mitral valve prolapse, some blood flows back into the atrium – a condition called regurgitation. Regurgitation can make the heart work harder, leading to further valve damage and increasing the risk of heart failure.

Mitral Valve Prolapse Treatment Options

The treatment options available to a person with mitral valve prolapse depend on the severity of your condition. Some patients may not require any intervention. Others may be prescribed medications. However, if your symptoms become severe, your doctor may recommend mitral valve prolapse surgery.

There are two basic types of valve prolapse surgery:

  • Valve Replacement
    • Your surgeon cuts out the damaged valve and replaces it with a new, artificial valve.
  • Valve Repair
    • Valve repair involves the surgeon reconstructing your valve using your own tissues.

In addition to robotic surgery as mentioned above, RWJUH also offers a full range of other treatment options for virtually all heart conditions.

Information & Appointments

Request more information or an appointment related to minimally invasive mitral valve repair questions or our cardiothoracic surgery program. A member of our clinical team will respond within 2 business days.

Patient Stories

  • "I can’t say enough about the RWJBarnabas Health nursing teams. They work hard, are caring and compassionate and I appreciated them through this entire process."

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  • He is also deeply grateful to RWJUH’s Heart Transplant Team for giving him the ultimate second chance at life.

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  • I cannot say enough about the nurses and the aftercare I received, Rick said. All of the doctors and nurses kept my kids updated and checked on me regularly to make sure everything went well.

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Patient Stories

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