An Extraordinary Response To Ruth’s Question, “What About Mitral Valve Repair Of A Prolapsed Anterior Leaflet?”

By Adam Pick on January 4, 2011

I recently received an anxious email from Ruth about mitral valve repair. Ruth writes to me, “I would like to learn more about a prolapsed ANTERIOR leaflet of the mitral valve. I have been told that repair may not be possible. I am terrified… Do you have any information on the risks involved with this type of repair? Thanks, Ruth”

Considering the urgent nature of Ruth’s question, I contacted Dr. David H. Adams — a leading mitral valve repair surgeon from The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. What happened next is quite extraordinary… First, Dr. Adams quickly responded to Ruth with a comforting email. Then, Dr. Adams created a 22-minute video to help patients better understand this type of mitral valve surgery.



I am hopeful this Dr. Adams’ video helped Ruth — and perhaps you — learn more about mitral valve repair — specifically the repair of the anterior leaflet that can result in severe mitral regurgitation. (Personally, I learned a lot from the materials covered in this interesting video.)

Thanks to Ruth for sharing her question with me. And, I would like to offer a HUUUUGE THANK YOU to Dr. Adams and Gideon Sims (Senior Director, Information Technology at Mount Sinai) for creating this incredible, patient-centric video that directly addressed Ruth’s questions. To learn more about mitral valve repair, click here.

Keep on tickin’ Ruth and Dr. Adams!

Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick, Heart Valve Patient Advocate

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Cindy says on January 4th, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I haven’t even viewed the video yet … but that’s SO Dr. Adam’s!! I was so lucky to have such an outstanding surgeon & caring human being repair my sorry, sorry valve!!! Fixed it 100% ! Will be 2 yrs. this Feb. 3rd.

Diana says on January 4th, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Now I understand why my first cardiac surgeon referred me to another surgeon who specialized in mitral valve repairs. I also had anterior leaflet prolapse and underwent a successful repair about a year and a half ago. I didn’t realize until watching Dr. Adams video how lucky I was to get a repair instead of a replacement. Thank you Dr. Adam for the information and good luck to Ruth.

Rebecca Roberts says on January 5th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I had successful mitral valve repair surgery on my anterior leaflet
exactly 2 years ago today!
Dr Joseph Bavaria at University of Pennsylvania performed the surgery.

Ken Fleming says on January 6th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Hello Adam; This was most rewarding, unbeeavable pictures and description of the proceedure. Yesterday I was with my heart surgeon who has backed away from doing further work with me.My mitral valve is regurating, puting me in a congestive heart failure position.He sprung on me yesterday, that as well a aortic valve is as well leaking.I have in the past years had two open heart surgerys with a total of eight bypasses,I live 150 miles north of Toronto, Ontario and would like to ask you and the good doctor how I would find in Canada the best mitral valve repair doctor and his availability.Any replys would be appreciated, have to do something soon.
Thanks again
Ken Fleming

Bonnie Perman says on January 8th, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Dr Chikwe and Dr. Adams of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York performed my minimally invasive mitral valve repair surgery on 10/4/10, a little over 3 months ago. I was totally asymptomatic from diagnosis to surgery which spanned 15 months, although diagnosed with severe prolapse and severe regurgitation at age 58. I am doing amazing well. I have been back at the gym working out vigorously 5-6 days a week since week 6. I realize that everyone has their own individual time frame for healing. I am absolutely certain that being proactive in addressing my need for this repair, no matter how frightened I was to have the surgery resulted in a quick and stressfree recovery. My heart is now 100% healthy and I have my life back to be the best I can be.

Michelle says on January 10th, 2011 at 12:10 am

Hi there

I just had my mitral valve repaired on December 3rd. I can tell you that it is all about finding the right surgeon. We talked to several before making our choice. We ended up with the first surgeon we spoke with. He is amazing and caring. I put my life in his capable hands and came out feeling great. I live in Oregon, I am not sure where you are. His name is Dr. Eric Kirker at The Oregon Clinic in Portland, OR.

Mary Ferraro says on January 17th, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Dr. David Adams is by far simply the best. He repaired my prolapsed mitral valve 10/27/08 and did a fantastic job. As he put it himself after my surgery, “You brought me a humdinger!” and I was very lucky to have had him as my surgeon. His entire team is also the best. They gave me my life back at 52 and still to this day I love the way it feels to be able to just breathe. I really appreciate being able to go the gym and to ride my bike and I really appreciate that the top of my scar is low enough that it stays hidden below regular necklines. Mount Sinai in NYC took great care of me for the 8 days I was there and will always recommend them.

John Myers says on January 28th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Is there anyway I can get a printed copy of Dr Adams video? I want to discuss some of what is covered in the video with my cardiologist, whom I find not especially clear when he discusses my mitral valve regurgitation with me. I am not symptomatic, but I have been diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse. I am 76 and have had an annual ECHO procedure since 1999. In Jan, 2010, my problem was rated as “moderate to severe”, but I am always confused when I leave his office of the next move. I need a printed copy to help me to ask more intelligent questions.

Pamela says on January 30th, 2011 at 12:52 am

My 4 year old daughter has been diagnosed with congenital mitral valve regurgitation moderate to severe. The chords on her leaflets need to be repaired. We were advised that we should consider surgery within the next 3 months. We consulted with Dr. David Adams at Mt. Sinai who feels highly confident he can get a good result. He would be operating side by side with Dr. Khan Nguyen, pediatric cardiac surgeon at Mt. Sinai. Needless to say we are terrified. She is our precious angel. Can you help us get through this terrifying time? My husband and I have never felt more scared in our lives.
Thanks so Much,

Cindy says on January 30th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Hi Pam,

As hard as it is, trust that you are in the best of hands. I had been told by so many cardiologists that I could NOT have a repair … I flew from CA to NY & Dr. Adams DID repair my valve. He estimated the surgery time to be 4 hrs. It turned out to be 8.5 hrs. The assistant surgeon came out & told my husband had I gone ANYWHERE else my valve would not have been repaired as it was a very difficult repair. Feb. 3rd will be 2 yrs. since surgery.

My thoughts are with you & your husband. It is SO different when dealing with a small child. Try to find gratitude that there is the possibility of repair in this day & age & what a difference that will make in your daughter’s life in the long run. I wish you all the best & just know that Dr. Adams is a truly amazing surgeon & human being as well!!

Michelle says on January 30th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Hi Pam

I don’t know you but you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I can tell you that your daughter will be in good hands with those great surgeons. The quality of her life will improve drastically after she has the surgery and recovers. She will live a long healthy productive life. I know that I am only 8 weeks post op from my mitral valve repair at the age of 30 and my life has improved so much. I can’t wait to be able to work out and play tennis and not get as winded as I did before.

I am here to support you in any way that I can.


Bonnie Perman says on January 31st, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Hi Pam,

You could be in no better hands than Dr. Adams and team. I too was very fearful until I met with Dr. Adam\’s team. I walked away from my meeting knowing that I would be OK. I was even better than I anticipated and so too will your daughter.
Have faith and stay positive. Your energy and all those who love you/your daughter will bring her through just fine.


Gideon Sims says on February 8th, 2011 at 8:02 pm


You can read and print the transcript to the video on our website, Just click the “Read video transcript” link to expand the text.


Dishelle says on August 4th, 2011 at 2:54 am

I’m getting ready to have my surgery (anterior leaflet prolapse) is scheduled for August 25th, 2011. I am extremely terrified amongst many other horrible feelings, being that I am only 25 with a 3 year old daughter. My heart goes out to any and everyone that has to go through any of these issues.

Many Blessings to all!! I do feel a small relief after being on this website and getting so much information. Goodluck to all.

Dr. Scot Merrick, of UCSF Medical Center is doing my surgery.

Rebecca Roberts says on August 23rd, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I had successful repair of my anterior leaflet 2 years ago.
Surgery and recovery were much easier than I expected.
Try to find peace in your selection of surgeon and hospital.
They will do the hard work!
A positive attitude, and determination to meet this challenge will be helpful.We are blessed that there is a successful treatment for this problem. You have the advantage of your young age, and you will go on to have a normal life.
You will find you are well-prepared as the result of the information on this web site.
You can do this!

Michael says on March 9th, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Exactly one year ago tomorrow Dr. Adams at Mt. Sinai successfully repaired my anterior leaflet prolapse. I was 37 and completely blind-sided during a routine physical. I was asymptomatic, healthy, had ran half-marathons, and worked out almost daily. After proper tests I was referred to a cardiologist. I quickly realized how serious the situation was, largely due to the difficulty of repairing an ‘anterior leaflet prolapse’. Once I learned this term I turned to the internet and quickly found this post, video, and Dr. Adams. Though still overwhelmed and scared, this site was the first step to calming down and moving with hope.

By the time I met with my local cardiac surgeon, though highly recommended and well-known, I was prepared to ask to be referred to Dr. Adams. To my surprise, he said he would send me to the best in the nation, a Dr. Adams in New York, before I ever had the chance to say his name. Starting with this blog, all roads seemed to point to Dr. Adams.

One year later I am very healthy, my only medication is aspirin, and I’m training for a half-marathon. Thank you Adam and thank you Dr. Adams!

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