Mitral valve is one of the four valves of the heart. It is also called as atrio-ventricular valve as it separates the left atrium from the left ventricle.
Many times this opening of this valve becomes either very small or very big. When the narrowing becomes small or stenosed, enough blood cannot be pumped through this aperture. In similar ways, if the opening becomes larger, there will be leaking of blood from one chamber to another (left atria and ventricle).
Commonly to repair this valve open heart surgeries are conducted. Now days, due to advances in the medical field the minimally invasive surgeries are possible. In traditional mitral valve repair surgeries, the sternum (breast bone) is cut and spread open. In a minimally invasive robotic mitral valve procedure, the surgeon manipulates the highly advanced robotic tool and makes only tiny incisions.
The robotic arms are inserted through the side of the chest which is even closer to the heart than opening up the sternum. The keyholes incisions are made for the surgical arms, camera and access tools.
The tiny camera provides the view of the diseased valve. The valve mostly appears over sized, misshaped and it does not close properly. It allows the blood to leak backwards. The surgeon then removes the misshaped portion of the valve. The remaining ends are approximated and reconstruction of the valve is done with micro sutures. The surgeon then introduces an artificial ring around the valve to reduce the size of the valve opening. This ring is then sutured into place. This leads to proper closing of the valve and the blood no longer leaks backwards.
For traditional surgeries 6 to 8 inch incision (cut) is taken in the middle of the chest. This leaves the patient with a scar for the rest of his/her life. In robotic surgeries very tiny incisions are taken which appear as only small minute scars after the procedure.
There is also less pain and less postoperative complications in robotic surgery due to decrease in exposure field.