Should I have repeat mitral valve surgery now?

I underwent mitral valve repair and single bypass 4 years ago. I am currently 71 years old, on 50 mg Losartin and 25 mg of HCTZ. I am informed that the valve is leaking again and the repair failed. I have few if any real symptoms, I work every day on a treadmill walking 3.5 miles in 50 minutes, 6 x week, and will walk 6 miles once or twice a week. My surgeon says undergo surgery now to replace the valve. Second opinion says ‘not so fast’. The leakage has not increased in the last 18 months and I should wait. If I opt for surgery, is it another open chest procedure or is there a newer procedure allowing a less invasive solution?

Submitted by Cliff from Farmington Hills, Michigan on 02/20/2014

by J. Michael Duncan, MD

Given your comments that you have few, if any, symptoms, it would appear that you are currently stable, thus rushing to surgery seems unnecessary. Depending on the size and location of the leak, you may be a candidate for repair via newer, catheter-based techniques. Specialists in a major medical center setting will be best able to assess your candidacy.