Hello Anabelle and welcome to the group! You will find this to be a very supportive community. I saw your question about choosing a surgeon. I also have severe ...Read more
Hello Anabelle and welcome to the group! You will find this to be a very supportive community. I saw your question about choosing a surgeon. I also have severe mitral regurgitation but feel well and am asymptomatic except for a lot of PVCs. I strongly believe in getting a second opinion from a surgeon at a recommended hospital of excellence in valve surgeries (see the list in Heart Hospitals tab above). I live in rural East Texas and will be traveling to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for my mitral and tricuspid valve repairs and a maze procedure with Dr. Marc Gillinov the first week in January. My first consult was with a surgeon in Texas, but his rates of valve replacements (30%) vs. repairs (70%) were higher than what are ideal repair rates, which should be in the mid to high 90% range. After having my records sent to Dr. Gillinov, and comparing his recommended surgery plan, I am certain I made the right decision. There were a number of differences in the two surgeons' approaches to my surgery. It's not just the surgeon who needs to be very experienced, it's the whole surgical and after-care teams. If possible, you should choose a surgeon who has done thousands of your type of surgery with very high success rates. The only downside is that the wait for surgery may be longer because they often schedule months in advance, but for me, it's been worth it to wait a few extra months to have the utmost confidence in the person doing my surgery. I know of many patients who have traveled across the country for their surgeries and the travel doesn't seem to be a problem. Best of luck as you go forward on the journey!