True or False: Cardiac Surgeons Perform At Least 37 Mitral Valve Repair Surgeries Each Year

By Adam Pick on October 11, 2011

As heart valve surgery is a very serious and very complex operation, I encourage all patients to interview and research their potential surgeons. Even with the known risks of heart valve surgery, you want to be 100% confident in your surgeon as you are being rolled into the operating room.

One of the key criteria for surgeon selection is experience. Specific to this point, I just learned a very interesting fact about the average yearly number of mitral valve repair surgeries performed by cardiac surgeons.

 

 

Well… What do you think?

If you said “True”… That’s what I thought! I quickly did the math and, in my mind, it is completely logical that a surgeon, performing 1-2 procedures a day, would easily reach 37 mitral valve repairs during a twelve month period.

However, the data provided by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) indicates a “False” response is correct. As Dr. Michael Mack, the president of STS, recently reported, the mean number of mitral valve repair surgeries performed annually is only… five.

During this interview, Dr. Mack, who practices at The Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas, alludes to the research of Dr. Steven Bolling. In May, I was able to discuss that research with Steven Bolling, MD at the AATS meeting. In case you missed it, here’s a great video in which Dr. Bolling, Director of the Mitral Valve Clinic at the University of Michigan, answers the question, “Is your surgeon likely to perform mitral valve repair surgery?”

 

 

Whether or not you got this trivia question right, I hope the information provided above supports you through the heart valve surgery process.

Keep on tickin!
Adam


Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com 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 HeartValveSurgery.com 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.


fred wittenstein says on October 22nd, 2011 at 10:29 pm

i had aortic valve replaced open heart surgery on aug 5 2011 i am 80 yrs old.surgery was asuccess however i am depressed .i can not play tennis which is a big part of my life.my legs are like lead & my energy level is low.is this normal? how much longer do i have to wait? i bought your book about 2 yrs ago but i left it in ny i am in boca raton fl. i was ranked 4th in the east in the 45s doubles.i never had much stamina. how is your game?



Miriam Nissley says on October 27th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

This information is really helpful! Thanks!



Debbie Singleton says on December 27th, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I had a mitral valve replacement in Febuary 2005. After recovery I was suprised at my energy level. I felt 10 years younger. The draw back that I had was that the new mechanical valve made my heart race too fast and I was prescribed Cardizem and Lanoxin to lower my heart rate. The Cardizem took away that extra energy I had experienced but I am healthy and very much alive almost 8 years since that surgery.
Without the surgery the surgeon had given me a two year life expectancy.
Thank the Lord for giving me a good surgeon and a special little tick that reminds me of how blessed I am to be alive.


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