Mitral Valve Repair Could Improve Mental Health
(HealthDay News) — Patients with mitral regurgitation (MR) have less depression and anxiety after they undergo surgical repair, according to research published in the March issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
The researchers looked at 131 patients who had surgery for organic MR and compared them to 62 patients who didn't have surgery. The authors also compared the findings to a control group of 36 people without MR.
Six months after surgery, patients' levels of anxiety and depression and quality-of-life scores improved to the levels of people in the control group. There was no such improvement among those who didn't have surgery to correct their mitral valve defect. The researchers also found that mental health improved after surgery even in people who didn't have physical symptoms such as fatigue or shortness of breath before their operation. The type of surgery -- standard or minimally invasive -- didn't seem to make a difference in either.
The findings are important and warrant further investigation, Daniel Ullyot, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, writes in an accompanying commentary. "We need to know if improved mental health is sustained beyond six months after surgery, and if the favorable impact of surgery is the result of restoring normal valve function or some other effect of surgical intervention."