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Manipal: Cardiac surgeon performs complex mitral valve repair procedure

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The mitral valve is the “inflow valve” for the left side of the heart. Blood flows from the lungs, where it picks up oxygen, through the pulmonary veins, to the left atrium of the heart. After the left atrium fills with blood, the mitral valve allows blood to flow from the left atrium into the heart’s main pumping chamber called the left ventricle. It then closes to keep blood from leaking back into the left atrium or lungs when the ventricle contracts (squeezes) to push blood out to the body. It has two parts known as anterior and posterior leaflets. Mitral valve disease can be due to narrowing of the valve called stenosis or leaking of the valve called regurgitation. Repair is usually performed for mitral regurgitation.


The patient usually experiences shortness of breath on exertion which is the chief symptom. Traditionally the treatment for mitral valve disease has been replacement using mechanical valves. The patient  needs  a lifelong intake of warfarin which is a blood thinning agent to prevent clots forming on the valve. After repair warfarin is not essential which reduces a lot of complications which might be associated with the mechanical valve or with the medication warfarin.

Dr Vasudev Baburaya Pai, the chief Cardiac Surgeon Kasturba Medical College and Hospital, Manipal after extensive training in the UK has been performing mitral valve repairs regularly since the last two years. The mitral valve is a 3 dimensional structure and repair entails addressing the different components of the valve after a careful assessment. Dr Vasudev Pai and his team which includes Dr Ganesh Kamath HOD; CVTS dept and Dr Sunita Dinakar who are both surgeons; Dr Nitin Patil; Anaesthetist and Chief Intensivist and Shivashankar Pai who is the Chief Perfusionist have successfully performed eighteen such operations in a short span of time. Dr Vasudev Pai said that the most difficult part of the operation is using artificial chords to resuspend the leaflets to get the precise length to avoid any residual leaking from the valve.

Dr (Col) M Dayananda Medical Superintendent and COO Kasturba Hospital (Apex Teaching hospital of the Kasturba Medical College Manipal) said that “The frequency of performing the advanced procedures like the Mitral Valve Repair and other surgeries display high level of skillsets of the surgeons.” Kasturba Hospital has invested in an advanced 4Dimensional echo machine which is essential for assessment of the valve before and after the operation to ensure good results, he added.

Dr Padmaraj Hegde, Dy Medical Superintendent and Professor and Head of dept of Urology, Kasturba hospital Manipal appreciated Dr Vasudev Pai Cardio Thoracic and vascular surgeon and the team and said, our Cardiovascular and Thoracic department growing rapidly and making a sincere attempt to reach the best of care to the reach and affordability of a common man in Costal Karnataka.

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