Being diagnosed with any heart complications can be a scary time, especially when surgery starts to get involved. However, there is a lot of misinformation floating around on the internet that can actually make you feel even more nervous. One issue that people face with their heart is mitral valve regurgitation, and surgery can be your only option to fix it. Mitral valve surgery is pretty common, but there are some myths out there that can lead you to believe something that’s incorrect. So, keep reading and discover 5 mitral valve surgery myths that have been completely debunked.
1. Patients Who Are Elderly Or Sick Can’t Undergo Surgery
You’ve probably heard the term “high risk” before when it comes to surgery, and it’s usually applied to people who are elderly or already unwell. However, when a person is labelled this, they may find it hard to get the surgery they need to get well again. According to the trained professionals, it’s simply untrue that high-risk patients can’t undergo mitral valve surgery should they need it. With the right team performing the surgery, any person, high or low risk, should be able to make it through and recover fully.
2. The Surgery Shortens Your Life Expectancy
You may have heard the old rumour that mitral valve surgery actually shortens your life expectancy. However, this type of surgery can actually extend your life greatly. In fact, you could return to an almost normal life once you’ve recovered. If the surgery is a success, you should be able to live as long as you would if you didn’t need the surgery in the first place. So, this myth is 100% untrue!
3. Robotic Surgery Isn’t Open Heart Surgery
With all the great advancements in technology, we’ve seen an influx in robotics being used for surgeries. However, some people have been led to believe that robotic mitral valve surgery isn’t open heart surgery. Again, this myth is completely false! It’s still the same operation as before, meaning it will be open heart, it’s just a smaller incision that’s made. This is said to be beneficial for patients anyways, as it helps them to recover a lot faster.
4. The MitraClip Doesn’t Work For Low-Risk Patients
This is one myth on this list that we can’t rule out either way, but we do know it’s not 100% true at the moment. As the MitraClip is still so new, it’s impossible to say either way whether it works for low-risk patients until enough time has passed to see the results. Trial studies are currently underway to see the difference that MitraClips can make versus surgery on low-risk patients. So, if you hear someone say that it doesn’t work, there’s currently no evidence to back this up.
5. Asymptomatic Patients Don’t Need The Surgery
When some people learn they have mitral valve regurgitation, they may actually be asymptomatic. This may lead them to believe that they don’t need surgery at the moment. However, studies have shown that acting sooner rather than later has a much better outcome. Having mitral valve disease causes a lot of damage to your cardiac muscle, meaning that leaving surgery for the time being is doing you more harm than good. Not getting the surgery could potentially lead to heart failure. So, just because you may be asymptomatic, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the surgery.
So, there we have the top 5 mitral valve surgery myths completely debunked! If you see any sort of misinformation online or overhear it at the hospital, be sure to take no notice of it, and if you’re feeling brave enough, try and correct them. As always, make sure you speak to your doctor if you ever have any questions about your heart surgery, and they’ll be able to provide you with accurate information.