Mitral valve prolapse is the most common cause of mitral regurgitation today. Mitral insufficiency is caused by elongation or rupture of the tendon chords or small strings that control the movement of the leaflets during valve closure. In case of prolapse, the mitral valve does not close normally, which causes the blood to return to the heart atrium during the heart muscle contractions – that is, it causes mitral insufficiency. This blood lag in the heart over time puts additional stress on the heart muscles, which expands and loses strength. Over time, enlargement of the atria in case of mitral valve prolapse results in arrhythmias, most often in the so-called absolute arrhythmia.
Mitral valve reconstruction or mitral valvuloplasty is an operative procedure which allows restoring functional state of the mitral valve affected by the disease. This is a set of surgical techniques by which the mitral valve is actually “redone”, so that it functions completely normally. The patient retains the tissue of his/her own valve, while the implantation of foreign material is negligible. Mitral valve reconstruction shows the best results in case of mitral valve prolapse.
Patients who underwent mitral valve reconstruction have better operative and long-term survival rate compared to valve replacement patients. Moreover, patients with a reconstructed mitral valve have fewer complications (hemorrhagic, thromboembolic and infectious) compared to patients whose valve was replaced with an artificial one. Since the implantation of foreign material is minimal in mitral valve reconstruction, there is no need for anticoagulant therapy, i.e. medications such as Sintrom, Farin, Sincum, etc. Namely, these medications are directly responsible for hemorrhagic complications – bleeding. After reconstruction, these medications are not required, except during the first two to three months after the operation.
The functional durability of the reconstructed mitral valve is exceptional. In case of mitral valve prolapse (degenerative disease), 90 to 98% of valves are functional 20 years after surgery.