Shirley - I agree with the posts here about doing the homework on the procedures available to you. If robotic is an option, please investigate it as there are several distinct advantages to it. Don't get caught up in the wording of minimally invasive part as that only pertains to accessing the heart - but either way it is still heart surgery once they get in there. I had the robotic surgery done Feb. 17 and have posted of my experiences from that and the recovery on this site so you can read that if you want - hope it helps. As one of the posts below mentions, other health factors and conditions will determine if you are a candidate for this procedure.
I wish you the best.
Hi, I had repair done 13 weeks ago and doing great. Home alone week 2, driving week 4 and walking 2 miles daily ever since. I chose to have a sternotomy. My reasons: doctor has FULL viewing while doing repair, less time on heart lung machine, success rates 98 plus percent. Do lots of homework before choosing a procedure. Read all the success here. Nancy Friedman, Jane P., John Lund, me just to name a few!! I wish you well and, don't worry you will be fine. We can be repaired and lead long and full lives!! Janis Kielbasa
I had minimally invasive robotic (da Vinci) mitral valve repair in Dec in London, ON. I am not sure if there is a surgeon doing it in Alberta, but you can always contact dr. Bob Kiaii in London University Hospital. He is pioneer of that procedure in Canada and is really great doctor! Your cardiologist can send all your tests to him and if he considers you a good candidate for the procedure he will do additional tests and operate. You need to be in very good health otherwise, not overweight, no other heart issues to be candidate for this type of mitral valve repair or replacement (both can be done with minimally invasive). The recovery is much shorter, surgery can be longer though but that depends on the valve.
You can read more details in my journal (Ivana Pleic's).
Ask if you have any other questions.
Hi, Shirley. I'm Selma, and I'm scheduled for my mitral valve repair on May 11th. Minimally invasive is kind of a misnomer in that at this time, there's no way of repairing or replacing your MV without actually cutting into your heart. The good news is, in many cases this can be done through small incisions, either via your sternum or between your ribs, and there's also something called "port access" surgery. For a lot of us, the full sternotomy isn't required. Of course, that's something you and your surgeon will discuss. If you go to this website: http://www.mitralvalverepair.org, you will be able to read everything you've ever wanted to know about MVR. It's an amazing resource.
I think many of us have found that educating ourselves about our conditions and knowing what to expect come surgery day goes a long way toward helping us cope with the inevitable anxiety. In any event, you have come to the right place. This community is just wonderful.
Minimally invasive mitral valve repairs are now common, but whether it's best or even possible for you will depend upon a number of factors, which you'll discuss with your surgeon. I had a mitral valve repair on March 13 with a full sternotomy. That was my only realistic option, given the complexity of my surgery (this was my second heart valve surgery). After your visit with your cardiologist, I encourage you to arrange for consultations with at least two surgeons. Second opinions are highly valuable.
- Jim Smith