Congenital Mitral Valve Stenosis Treatment

Congenital mitral valve stenosis means a narrowing of the mitral valve. This valve controls blood flowing from the heart’s left atrium to the left ventricle.

The narrow opening reduces the amount of blood that can flow into the left ventricle, which causes the blood to back up into the left atrium and the lungs. The result can be fatigue and short of breath. Blood held back in the left atrium causes that chamber to enlarge. Fluid also will build up in the lungs.

Mitral valve stenosis in children can be congenital or caused by damage from rheumatic fever, an infectious disease complication from strep throat.

For many children, the first hint of mitral valve stenosis will be a heart murmur. Your child’s doctor can hear a heart murmur with a stethoscope during a routine examination. An echocardiogram can provide more detail regarding your child’s heart murmur.

In severe cases, your child may need a valvuloplasty or open heart surgery to fix or replace the valve. The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the experience and skills to diagnose mitral valve stenosis and provide a treatment plan specifically for your child.

Norton Children’s Heart Institute specialists can identify whether your child’s congenital mitral valve stenosis is mild or severe. In minor cases, it may be enough to simply watch its progress and possibly give medication to lessen its effects. In other cases, more invasive procedures may be necessary.

Norton Children’s Heart Institute is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has rated Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region.

Balloon Valvuloplasty for Congenital Mitral Valve Stenosis

One potential treatment for mitral valve stenosis is called a balloon valvuloplasty. Your child will be sedated (asleep) for the procedure. A specially trained pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist with give the anesthesia and closely monitor your child.

A pediatric cardiac interventional cardiologist at Norton Children’s Heart Institute will insert a catheter — a long, thin tube — into your child’s blood vessels and thread it up to the heart and the precise site of the faulty mitral valve. They will then inflate a tiny balloon attached to the catheter to widen the passage through the valve. They will then remove the catheter and the balloon.

Valve Replacement Surgery

Mitral valve replacement is a more invasive surgery than a balloon valvuloplasty. Your child’s surgeon may need to remove the narrowed valve and replace it with a mechanical valve or a donor valve.

Your child will be sedated (asleep). A pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist will give the sedation medication and closely monitor your child during the procedure. An incision is made in the middle of the chest, and the child is placed on a heart-lung (cardiopulmonary) bypass machine. This machine does the heart’s work of pumping blood and the lungs’ work of exchanging gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) while the surgeons operate.

The heart is then opened through a skilled incision, allowing the pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon to view the mitral valve. The valve is replaced with a mechanical valve or donor valve, and then the heart and chest are closed.

Depending on the type of replacement valve used and the child’s age, your child may future surgeries. He or she also could need to take blood-thinning (anticoagulation) medications long-term.

The specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute will follow your child after these procedures and be able to provide answers to your questions before you leave the hospital.

Why Choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is rated higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Heart Institute Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program.

  • Norton Children’s Hospital is a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
  • Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiovascular surgeons are leaders in the field as clinicians and researchers.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons rated Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to treat a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient offices in Ashland, Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, London, Madisonville, Murray, Owensboro, Paducah and Shepherdsville in Kentucky; as well as Corydon, Jasper, Madison and Scottsburg in Indiana; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has awarded the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) is the largest dedicated CICU in Kentucky, equipped with 17 private rooms and the newest technology available for heart care.
  • Our multidisciplinary approach to pediatric heart surgery brings together our specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, cardiac critical care and other areas to create a complete care plan tailored for your child.
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Norton Children’s Heart Institute

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