Medical Specialty >> Cardiology

Doctors Lounge - Cardiology Answers

Back to Cardiology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Valvular Heart Diseases

Question: Mitral and aortic reguritation

 sharon - Thu Feb 13, 2003 9:11 am

I am a 52 year old female with mitral reguritation d/t rheumatic fever as a child. My cardiologist told me that the reguritation is severe and surgery is needed. After performing an TEE and angiogram, it was also determined that the aortic valve was moderately affected as well. My question is, can both valves be repaired or replaced at the same time? I understand the difference between a mechanical vs. tissue replacement but know nothing about repairing a valve. In replacements there is an 8-10 year wear rate, what about repairs? If doing both valves at the same time, does the chest need to be cracked for better viewing? I understand that a small incision has been used in replacements, but is it posible when working on both valves. I am very fatigued, short of breathe when climbing stairs and am overall scared. I would appreciate any answers or adivce you could give me. thank you. I have tried posting twice before but i think I must have done something wrong. If you see these aother posting, please forgive me.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Thu Feb 13, 2003 2:35 pm

User avatar Dear Sharon,

Thank you very much for using our website.

In cases of mitral regurge caused by rheumatic fever, the condition of the valve is the major factor to decide about wether reparing or replacing the valve. With rheumatic fever, the valve could be firbosed or calcified to the extenet that it can not be repaired. For younger people (like yourself), most of the people agree that mechanical valves last longer than tissue valves, although they have the drawback of having to be on blood thinners and watched real close.

Yes, the chest has to be cracked to replace and repair the valves. Both valves could be replaved in the same procedure but it depends on the surgeon and what is more comfortable form him to do.

You mentionned symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath. You have not mentionned about swelling of the legs and belly distention. These symptoms mean that you have developed right sided heart failure which means that you might have developed pulmonary hypertension which if irreversible then replacing the valve will not help. Having had a cath means that most probably had been ruled out.

Once more, thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us