In case of mitral valve regurgitation, repair is generally considered a better alternative than the valve replacement. This pages content discusses the methods of heart valve surgery, with emphasis on the advantages of minimally invasive mitral valve heart surgery in India, Mexico, Turkey & other international cardiac surgery centers.
In a normal heart, blood flows from the left atrium through the mitral valve into the left ventricle. The blood is then pumped out of the left ventricle and circulated through the body’s blood vessels. When this happens, the two halves (leaflets or cusps) of the mitral valve close to prevent blood from being pushed back into the left atrium.
The possible complications with the mitral valve are:
All three conditions will affect the functioning of the heart and its capacity to pump blood through the body. This will force the heart to work harder. Symptoms of mitral valve malfunction range from fatigue and breathlessness to even vomiting blood. Mitral valve prolapse is a fairly common condition, and most people with this condition live with no discomfort or symptoms. But in some cases, stress on the flopping valve halves can cause other problems that need to be treated.
The conventional way of mitral or left atrioventricular valve surgery was to replace the valve. However, it is now generally agreed that where possible the valve should be repaired and not replaced.
In mitral valve replacement, an artificial mitral valve replaces the native valve. Two kinds of prosthetic heart valves are available.
A French heart surgeon, Dr Alain F Carpentier pioneered the technique to repair the native valve rather than to replace it about two decades ago. Since then, mitral or bicuspid valve repair, still a major cardiac surgery, is being successfully conducted by surgeons throughout the world.
When compared to replacement, bicuspid valve repair has certain advantages of letting the native heart function better, better patient recovery, and no need for blood thinners. Mitral heart valve repair research has also shown that in mitral valve repair patients, a second operation is usually not necessary. The 2006 guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology state that “mitral valve repair is recommended over mitral valve replacement in the majority of patients with severe chronic mitral regurgitation who require surgery.” However, not all damaged valves are suitable for repair; in some, the state of valve disease is too advanced and replacement is necessary.
Traditionally, valve repair was done through sternotomy, that is, open heart surgery. But advances in medical science have brought about alternative approaches to mitral valve repair like minimally invasive mitral valve repair and – going one more step ahead – minimally invasive port access technique for mitral valve surgery.
Minimally invasive mitral valve repair is performed through a two-inch keyhole incision on the side of the chest. The port access technique is a step ahead in that the incision is even smaller and the whole operation is video-directed, whereas in non-port access minimally invasive mitral valve surgery, the operation is done by direct vision.The minimally invasive approaches avoid an incision in the breastbone (sternotomy) and have several benefits like:
India has gained a name for high tech medical surgeries & it is now quite comment for many in the west to consider mitral valve prolapse repair in India. Many of the surgeon have returned to India from training in leading centers in the USA 7 UK.
India’s leading cardiologists and cardo-thoracic surgeons combined with adoption of the latest technology have given it the edge over other competing medical tourism destinations in case of heart surgeries. Of course, needless to say, it is also the most affordable.
With skyrocketing costs of medical care in the US, going abroad for heart surgery is becoming very common. The cost of mitral valve repair in the US can be anywhere between $40,000 – $200,000. The same procedure in India can be done for about $10,000.
If this raises eyebrows about the quality of health care in India, consider that medical tourism in India is a multi-million dollar industry and is growing at the rate of 25%.
Many medical tourism hospitals & surgery centers in India are either already accredited or are going for accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI), the global arm of the institution that screens US hospitals. This accreditation not only takes into consideration things like infection and patient mortality rates, but also other issues like awareness among staff of patient rights, the qualification of the staff, etc. Hence, when the quality of heart surgery in the US is compared to India, there is little difference, except for the personalized VVIP service that you will get in India.
The phenomenal difference in cost and uncompromised quality offered is hard to ignore, not only for individuals but also for employers and some are already considering sending their employees to India for major medical procedures.
But while choosing a hospital in India for mitral valve repair, exercise caution and consider only the best. There may be other hospitals that offer more discounts than the best ones, but they are not advisable. Please remember that mitral valve repair can be done only by highly skilled cardiac surgeons. Hence, be doubly sure about the credentials of your hospital and cardiac surgeon in India.
Heart Valve Society of America: Promotes research and educates medical professionals about the evaluation and treatment of heart valve diseases; also acts as a source of information for government, private industry, healthcare providers, the media and public.
Cardiological Society of India: The Cardiological Society of India was established in 1948 in Calcutta (now Kolkata), a year ahead of the birth of the American College of Cardiology and the International Society & Federation of Cardiology. It has among its members eminent cardiologists in India. Cardiovascular research established four decades ago in India is being carried forward with technology equal to the best in the world.
The International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery: Organizes and centralizes the various surgical centers concerned with patient outcomes, techniques, and progessive development of less invasive forms of heart surgery.
The Singapore Cardiac Society: Instituted in 1969, its mission is to advance knowledge and practice of cardiovascular medicine in Singapore and to promote regional and international co-operation in cardiovascular medicine.
Thai Heart Journal: The journal of the Heart Association of Thailand acts as a central source of information for cardiologists and the people of Thailand.
Turkish Society of Cardiology: Founded in 1962, the Society’s mission is to prevent the cardiovascular risk of the Turkish population by supporting the professional and public education and research.
Medical Tourism Corporation facilitates low cost mitral valve repair or replacement in India and other overseas world-class cardiology treatment destinations.