Mitral valve surgery

Mitral valve repair or replacement may be performed through traditional sternotomy, as well as other minimally invasive means including mini thoracotomy and robotic assisted surgery.

In 2021, Spectrum Health performed:

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105 open isolated mitral valve repair and replacements

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18 combined CABG + mitral valve repair or replacements

Robotic mitral valve surgery

Spectrum health has a robust minimally invasive cardiac surgery program utilizing the Intuitive da Vinci Xi robot, an amazing computer-enhanced robotic assistance system. We have been performing robotic heart surgeries since 2008. Our cardiothoracic surgeons offer a wide variety of these procedure in the largest program of its kind in West Michigan.

In 2021, 46.5% of our mitral valve repairs were performed robotically compared to 14.9% nationally

The combined capabilities of precision control, 3-D vision and minimally invasive entry allow eligible patients to spend less time recuperating and offer a faster return to a normal lifestyle. Robotic assistance allows qualifying patients to have smaller incisions, eliminating the need to split the breastbone.

Healthcare provider looking in machine.

Minimally invasive surgery can be a safe, effective alternative to open heart surgery.

Person using machine controllers

Indications for robotic mitral valve surgery include:

  • Normal cardiac function 
  • Low risk for traditional cardiac surgery via sternotomy 
  • No underlying lung, cerebrovascular or peripheral vascular disease 
  • Normal body habitus

Watch a video about the da Vinci Xi Surgical System or learn more about Spectrum Health robotic surgery.

Treatment options

Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR)
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Spectrum Health is a national leading enroller in the Medtronic APOLLO trial. The APOLLO Trial is testing a new device called the Intrepid Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR) system in people with severe symptomatic mitral regurgitation (MR).

Medtronic Intrepid valve

The Intrepid device is a new type of valve (pictured to the right).  It is designed to help correct mitral regurgitation (MR) and help blood flow forward.  The TMVR system is a minimally invasive potential alternative to conventional open-heart mitral valve surgery.  

Through the APOLLO Trial, Spectrum Health will study the Intrepid valve in patients who have severe symptomatic mitral regurgitation, and are either a candidate for, or ineligible for, conventional mitral valve surgery.   

Clinical trials offer treatment options for many people.  They may also help researchers learn more about certain diseases to help other patients like yourself in the future.  

The main possible benefit to participating in the APOLLO Trial is making your heart work better.  This could mean you will feel better in the future.  

Edwards Sapien valve

In addition to treating native mitral valve disease, Spectrum Health can treat failed mitral bioprosthetic valves via a transcatheter approach utilizing the Edward Sapien valve system.

Percutaneous MitraClip
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MitraClip is another treatment option offered by our structural heart team for patients with severe mitral regurgitation who are not ideal surgical candidates.

During the procedure, imaging equipment is used to insert a catheter into the patient’s groin and guide it through the femoral vein to the affected area of the heart. The clip is then guided into place and attaches to the leaflets of the mitral valve. The clip will grasp the leaflets, creating a double orifice, reducing the degree of mitral regurgitation.

Heart valve graphic
Balloon mitral valvuloplasty
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A balloon mitral valvuloplasty is an option offered by our structural heart team for patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis. With this procedure, a catheter is inserted through a vein in the groin and advanced into the heart. When the catheter reaches the valve, a balloon at the end of the tube is inflated. The balloon widens the valve opening. The goal of the procedure is to reduce the severity of stenosis by enlarging the valve opening. The procedure is designed to provide symptomatic relief and may delay or minimize the need to perform open-heart surgery. 

Make an Appointment

Contact us to learn how to take the next step and get an appointment with one of our specialists.