Even in low-volume VA centers, mitral valve repair outcomes best replacement.
A large multi-center study presented at the 96th American Association for Thoracic Surgery Annual Meeting followed trends in mitral valve (MV) surgeries in the Veterans Administration Health System from 2001-2013 and provided further evidence to support the use of mitral valve repair over mitral valve replacement in patients with degenerative MV disease.
"MVRepair has a greater short-term protective effect against mortality than MVReplace has in patients with primary degenerative MR," write the authors. "Despite this survival advantage, the rate of MVRepair is low at some centers; therefore, there is clearly an opportunity for quality improvement."
Beyond a survival advantage, mitral valve repair was also found to result in fewer complications and shorter hospital stays.