“Is Mitral Regurgitation & Calcification Common After Mitral Valve Repair Surgery?” asks Linda

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Junaid Khan, MD, Medical Director, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
Page Last Updated: May 6, 2021

I just received a great question from Linda about the recurrence of mitral regurgitation, a leaky heart valve, and calcification after mitral valve repair surgery. In her note to me, Linda asked, “I had mitral valve repair about 2 years ago and now I’ve developed regurgitation again. Also part of the valve is calcified. I am curious if this is common?”

 

Calcified & Leaking Mitral Valve

 

To provide Linda an expert opinion for her very important question, I contacted Dr. Junaid Khan, a leading cardiac surgeon at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, California.  As you may know, Dr. Khan is a long-time supporter of HeartValveSurgery.com having performed successful heart valve surgery on many patients in our community including Mildred Burns, Derek Daniels and Elain Ledoux.
 

Dr. Junaid Khan - HeartValveSurgery.com Scrub CapDr. Junaid Khan (Alta Bates Summit Medical Center)

 

Dr. Khan Says…

I am happy to report that Dr. Khan wasted no time responding to Linda’s question.

First, Dr. Khan addressed the prevalence of the recurrence of mitral regurgitation after a mitral valve repair surgery:
 

Hi Linda – That is a great question and one I get asked often.  Recurrent mitral valve regurgitation (moderate to severe) after repair at 5 years occurs at a rate of 5-30% in various studies. Failure is lower at higher volume programs.

 

Second, Dr. Khan addressed the top reasons why a mitral valve repair procedure can fail:
 

The most common cause of failure is roughly 33% technical failure of initial repair, 33% progression of valvular disease and 33 new pathology.

 

Then, Dr. Khan addressed an interesting point about the valve structure and presence of calcium build-up on the valve prior to the initial mitral valve repair.
 

Patients who have had bi-leaflet pathology and/or significant calcium present at the initial surgery have a higher rate of failure than those with isolated posterior leaflet pathology and those without calcific disease.

 
 

Calcified Mitral ValveCalcified Mitral Valve

 
 

Lastly, Dr. Khan specifically addressed whether-or-not calcium build-up on the valve typically happens within two years following mitral valve repair surgery.
 

In your case, generally calcium does not develop rapidly over two years.

 
 

Thanks Linda and Dr. Khan!

I hope this helped Linda (and perhaps you) learn more about the onset of mitral regurgitation and calcification after mitral valve repair surgery.

Many thanks to Linda for submitting her question!  And, a special thanks to Dr. Junaid Khan for sharing his clinical experiences and research with our community!

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Keep on tickin!
Adam


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 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.

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