Dr. Ancona-Young taking patient's blood pressure.

Mitral valve disease and surgery

Mitral valve is the most common heart valve abnormality and affects 5 to 10 percent of the population. At Sharp, our expert cardiovascular teams perform a variety of procedures to treat mitral valve disease.

At Sharp, we offer several minimally invasive surgical options to repair or replace mitral valves (also known as bicuspid valves) with a faster recovery and less pain than traditional open surgeries.

Mitral valve procedures and surgery options

At Sharp, our expert cardiac specialists perform a variety of heart valve surgical procedures.

Minimally invasive mitral valve surgery

In minimally invasive mitral valve surgery, the incision is much smaller — about 3 inches instead of the 6 to 8 inches required for traditional cardiac surgery. The surgery can be completed with small incisions through the lower breastbone — which means a shorter healing time and hospital stay, less scarring, reduced pain and a lower chance of infection.

Maze procedure and mitral valve repair

Surgeons perform maze surgery to treat chronic atrial fibrillation (AFib), a fast, irregular heart rhythm where the upper chambers of the heart contract in an uncoordinated fashion. AFib is dangerous because it can cause blood to pool in the upper chambers, leading to blood clots. A stroke can occur if a blood clot travels from the heart and blocks a small artery in the brain.

The procedure typically adds only about 20 to 30 minutes to the surgery and can be effective in eliminating AFib. Many patients who receive both a mitral valve repair and a maze procedure no longer need to take long-term blood-thinning medications.

Mini-maze procedure

The mini-maze procedure is often performed on patients suffering from mitral valve disease and AFib. Tiny incisions are created in the chest and an energy source is used to block the arrhythmia's path. This minimally invasive procedure does not require opening the chest, so it has a shorter recovery time than more invasive surgical options.

MitraClip® procedure

The MitraClip®procedure is a treatment for patients unable to have open-heart surgery due to age or other medical conditions. The device is inserted through the femoral vein — a blood vessel in the leg — to clip together a portion of the mitral valve, allowing the heart to pump blood more efficiently.

Frequently asked questions

San Diego mitral valve surgery locations

Mitral valve disease is treated at the following Sharp hospitals.

Read our heart health stories