Mitral Valve Surgery- Why We Operate on the Heart from the Right Side


In this video, Dr. James Gammie, a cardiac surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive mitral valve surgery, explains why this surgery is performed through a small, two-inch, incision under the right breast.

Dr. Gammie said patients are surprised to learn the incision site is under the right and not the left, breast. People commenting on our new print ad for mitral valve repair, which features a chest with the incision location under the right breast, highlighted, had the same thought.

So what's the story? The heart's mitral valve is located in the center of the chest, and Dr. Gammie said the best way to approach the valve is through the upper chambers of the heart, which are on the right side of the chest.

Dr. Gammie talks about his passion, and the benefits to patients, of repairing vs. replacing the mitral valve, which UMMC does more than 90 percent of the time. He said he encourages patients to ask questions and be as informed as possible before surgery.

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