“What Does Mitral Stenosis Look Like?” Asks Ted

Ted just sent me a very appropriate question about mitral valve stenosis.

He writes, “Adam – I’ll be going in for mitral valve surgery due to stenosis next month. I’m doing my best to cope with the reality of open heart surgery. Quick question… Do you know what mitral valve stenosis looks like? Thanks for everything, Ted”

Severely Calcified Mitral Valve Stenosis
Mitral Valve Stenosis – Calcified Leaflets

As you may know, mitral stenosis is the narrowing of the opening of the heart’s mitral valve. Shown above, thickened valve leaflets do not open-and-close properly and causes interference with blood flow.

This picture comes from a 72-year old male who was experiencing symptoms (breathlessness) due to mitral stenosis, according to Dr. Jeremy Jones. The patient required mitral valve replacement.

Although Ted did not explicitly ask for it, many patients are also curious to see the steps by which a mitral valve is replaced. Thanks to The Brazilian Journal of Cardiology, the picture below illustrates the steps by which a severely calcified mitral valve is replaced with a bovine bioprosthesis (also known as a cow valve replacement). The 52-year old female patient was released from the hospital six days after surgery.

Mitral Valve Replacement With Bovine (Cow) Valve
Mitral Valve Replacement With Bovine Valve

I hope this helps Ted (and perhaps you) learn a little more about mitral stenosis and the process to remove and replace a diseased heart valve.

As they say… A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • Jim Hilbe

    Hello Adam,

    Your article talks about mitral replacement. You might be interested to know that The Cleveland Clinic usually repairs mitral valves, but sometimes replaces them.

    Jim Hilbe

  • Danielle

    My 86 year old father had valve replacement on February 17, 2010. We thought that he was doing better, but he is now experiencing depression. He frets a great deal; he stutters, then cries; and he sleeps a great deal. He refuses to acknowledge that he may be suffering from depression.

    I just bought the book. I hope that he pays attention to the good words in it.

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