Heart valve repair is a procedure to repair native valve function instead of replacing it with a mechanical or biological replacement device. The procedure is most frequently used to treat heart valves that do not close properly and leak, a condition call valve insufficiency. Valve repair may be more durable than biological valve replacement and avoids the complications associated with anticoagulation medications required with mechanical valve replacement. Based upon the demonstrated superior patient benefits achieved with the procedure, valve repair has become the gold standard treatment for mitral valve insufficiency, comprising more than 70% of all isolated mitral valve procedures performed.
Decades of experience with mitral valve disease have proven that the foundation of successful valve repair is stabilization of the valve annulus, a procedure called annuloplasty. Annuloplasty is achieved by the surgical implantation of an annuloplasty ring which restore normal annular dimensions and prevents dilatation of the annulus with time. By combining annuloplasty with surgical techniques to repair damage to the valve leaflets and other valve structures, surgeons are able to routinely restore valve function and competence without removal of the patient’s native valve tissues.