It depends on the disease but not everyone with heart disease needs surgery. For instance, mitral valve repair surgery is generally recommended for moderate to severe or severe mitral regurgitation. Lesser degrees of mitral regurgitation may not require surgery at this point. I believe strongly that a visit to an experienced mitral valve repair surgeon is an important thing for patients with mitral disease, even if surgery is not required. That is because many patients with clear indications for surgery are not referred today for a variety of reasons. The patient should make an informed decision on the risks, benefits, and alternatives to the various treatment options. Second opinions are also a good thing because they empower the patient. A good resource for patients is the American Heart Association website: www.heart.org and the American Heart Association Guidelines for the treatment of valve disease: AHA Valve Treatment Guidelines. The treatment guidelines can be confusing for non-medical folks but your cardiologist or surgeon can walk you through the appropriate algorithm for your condition.
I have created a mitral valve treatment guideline education tool based on the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines that you may find helpful. Let me emphasize that this tool does not tell you whether you need surgery or not it just educates you on the guidelines based on the information you input.
Personalized Mitral Valve Regurgitation Treatment Guideline Education Tool
Based on 2014 AHA/ACC Guideline for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease. (Circulation 2014 Jun 10;129(23):e521-643.).
This tool is not designed to and does not provide specific medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual.
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