Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) is a procedure to replace a heart valve. TMVR implants a manufactured valve or one made from biological heart tissue. The human-made valve then does the work of the faulty mitral valve. It’s a less invasive option than open-heart surgery to correct mitral valve stenosis or regurgitation.
TMVR implants a manufactured (human-made) valve or one made from cow, pig or human biological heart tissue in the position of the old valve. The new valve then does the work of the faulty mitral valve.
Your mitral valve is one of four heart valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction. Your mitral valve exists between the two left chambers of your heart, the left atrium (chamber on the top left) and left ventricle (chamber on the bottom left). It has two flaps called leaflets that open and close during every heartbeat and when functioning properly, facilitate one-way direction of forward blood flow.
Sometimes, people are born with or develop problems with their mitral valve, such as:
TMVR is an option for some people with mitral valve disease who aren’t good candidates for open-heart surgery.
Cardiologists use several minimally invasive methods to treat mitral valve disease. Some procedures replace the mitral valve while others repair it. MitraClip™ is a type of repair technique. TMVR replaces a defective valve.
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You’ll also meet with a specialist to determine what type of anesthesia is best to prevent pain during the procedure. Options may include general anesthesia or conscious sedation.
Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for TMVR. They may include:
TMVR takes about two to three hours. It requires a team of specialists, including cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, imaging specialists and anesthesiologists. The team will:
During the procedure, your healthcare providers continuously monitor your vital signs, including blood pressure and blood oxygen levels. They also monitor your heart with echocardiography, which provides pictures of the valves and chambers.
After TMVR, you go to a recovery room where your healthcare team monitors you as the anesthesia wears off. Some people may need to stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) for a short while, and most people spend a few days in the hospital.
Your healthcare providers will give you specific instructions about:
The transcatheter approach to heart valve surgery can:
Although the transcatheter approach has fewer risks than open-heart surgery, complications may occur, including:
The heart team may decide to change the procedure to an open-heart surgery if necessary. Some complications may require a second procedure.
Many people go back to work and other activities several weeks after TMVR. But full recovery may take two to three months. Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions before resuming any activities.
If you’ve had a mitral valve replacement, seek immediate medical attention for signs of a stroke, such as:
Also, seek emergency medical care if you have signs of a heart attack, which include:
Other reasons to call your healthcare provider include:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) is a procedure to replace a person’s mitral valve. It’s a less invasive option than open-heart surgery for certain people with mitral valve disease. Talk to your healthcare provider about which type of repair or replacement technique is right for you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/13/2022.
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