Mitral Valve Repair or Replacement

Board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Dr. Marvin Derrick is a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon who currently treats patients at DMH Heart & Lung Institute in Decatur, Illinois. Dr. Marvin Derrick performs a wide array of chest surgeries, including the repair or replacement of an improperly functioning mitral valve.

The mitral valve is located between the left atrium and the left ventricle of the heart. Surgery on this valve is typically needed in one of two scenarios: mitral valve regurgitation or mitral valve stenosis. With regurgitation, the valve is loose, resulting in a backward flow of blood. In mitral valve stenosis, the valve is hardened, preventing it from opening as much as it should and impairing blood flow.

In mild to moderate cases of these conditions, surgery may not be necessary. Many patients function just fine with the use of medications and close observation by a cardiac specialist. In more severe cases, however, surgery is often advised to prevent permanent damage to the heart muscle. Repairing or replacing the mitral valve is an open-heart surgery that is performed under general anesthesia.

If there isn’t too much damage to the valve, the surgeon can repair it with a number of techniques, which can involve trimming, shaping, or reconnecting the valve leaflets so that they open and close properly. The surgeon may also need to repair the annulus, which is the ring of tissue around the valve.

When the mitral valve cannot be repaired, it can be replaced with either a mechanical or tissue valve. Mechanical valves, which are constructed of metal, are durable and long lasting, but they carry the risk of blood clots. Therefore, patients who receive mechanical valves must remain on anticoagulant medication for life. Tissue valves are obtained from a large mammal such as a pig or a human cadaver donor. While tissue valves may carry a lower risk of blood clots, patients who receive them may still need to take blood-thinning medications. These valves typically need to be replaced every 10 years or so.

Risk Factors for Varicose Veins

As a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Marvin Derrick routinely performs corrective surgery on patients with peripheral vascular disease. Dr. Marvin Derrick maintains a busy varicose vein treatment practice at Decatur Memorial Hospital, where he focuses on the use of minimally invasive interventions.

A common vascular issue that affects 30 to 60 percent of adults, varicose veins are more common in certain populations than others. They affect women two to three times as often as men, due to both the strong presence of the hormone progesterone in females, and the stress to the lower extremities caused by pregnancy. Age also plays a role. Most varicose veins appear when a person is between 30 and 70 years old. The walls of the veins weaken during this period, allowing veins to stretch if they are disposed to do so.

In addition, there is a genetic factor to varicose veins, although the particular link is unknown; at this time, all that scientists know is that a family history of the condition puts a person at greater risk. Lifestyle factors are also influential, with those who stand or sit for long periods of time, putting more pressure on their veins, at greater risk.

Lastly, obesity is known to have a causal role. This is because excess weight makes the veins work harder, increasing the pressure in them and weakening the valves that prevent blood from pooling.

American College of Surgeons to Host 2014 Clinical Congress

A board-certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, Marvin Derrick, MD, presently serves as the director of Cardiothoracic Surgical Services at Decatur Memorial Hospital in Decatur, Illinois. An engaged member of his profession, Dr. Marvin Derrick has held memberships in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery and was named a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is preparing to host its 2014 Clinical Congress, which is scheduled to take place October 26 through October 30, 2014, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. This annual conference will feature panel sessions, expert luncheons, presentations, and courses designed to increase surgeons’ skills and knowledge. Topics will include an update on the latest laparoscopic procedures; suggestions on how to manage conditions such as diverticulitis, ventral hernias, and complications in bariatric surgery; and an update on health care reform, among others.

Established in 1913, the ACS serves nearly 80,000 members worldwide. The organization is dedicated to improving the health care of critically ill patients, monitoring public policy that affects the surgical field, and ensuring that surgeons are kept abreast of the latest developments in the industry.

About Beating-Heart Bypass Surgeries

As the director of cardiothoracic surgery at Decatur Memorial Hospital, Dr. Marvin Derrick has played a key role in introducing open-heart surgery to the hospital and its patients. Now, Dr. Marvin Derrick and his colleagues, Drs. Smith and VanLe, offer beating-heart surgeries in many cardiac cases.

In the beating-heart coronary bypass surgery, surgeons perform the procedure without the use of a heart-lung machine. Also known as off-pump surgery for this reason, the technique allows the patient’s cardiovascular system to perform as normal while surgeons work. This is done using a tissue stabilizer that repositions the heart to provide access to the area where the bypass is needed. The stabilizer also serves to minimize the movement of the cardiac tissue during the bypass itself.

In other respects, the beating-heart bypass surgery resembles a traditional bypass. Surgeons take a vein from the patient’s leg or another accessible area and use it to reroute blood around a blocked artery in the heart. The beating-heart procedure frequently allows surgeons to achieve the same outcome with less pain, minimal bleeding, and a shorter recovery time for patients. However, only an experienced surgeon can determine whether this procedure is appropriate in a particular case.

Minimally Invasive Varicose Vein Treatments

A board-certified cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Marvin Derrick serves as the director of Decatur Memorial Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Surgical Services. Dr. Marvin Derrick has performed numerous varicose vein treatment procedures and is a strong advocate of minimally invasive options.

For those who suffer from varicose veins, a number of recently developed therapies offer alternatives to the traditional vein stripping. Two such options, laser and radiofrequency ablation, are applied to the vein using a small catheter that surgeons introduce into the affected vessel. When the catheter is inside the vein, radio or laser energy causes the vein to heat, expand, and ultimately shrink. Then, instead of being surgically removed, the vein is reabsorbed by the tissues in the leg.

For varicose veins that appear closer to the surface, a procedure known as sclerotherapy is used to seal the vein and stop the swelling that characterizes the varicose condition. The procedure uses a chemical that irritates the vein, causing the vein walls to stick to one another and close the vein. The blood flow is then rerouted and the body reabsorbs the vein tissue. This is typically performed using a liquid compound, although larger veins may be treated using a recently approved foam that can cover more tissue area.

What Is a Pacemaker?

A cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon with more than two decades of experience, Dr. Marvin Derrick presently sees patients at DMH Heart & Lung Institute and serves as director of Decatur Memorial Hospital Cardiothoracic Surgical Services. In addition to major surgical procedures on the blood vessels, heart, and lungs, Dr. Marvin Derrick performs minor surgeries such as pacemaker placement.

The heart has an electrical system that controls the speed and rhythm of the heartbeat to keep blood flowing properly throughout the body. A disruption in this electrical system, which is called heart arrhythmia, can cause a fluttering sensation in the heart, a heartbeat that is faster or slower than normal, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fainting. Heart arrhythmias stem from a variety of conditions and lifestyle factors, including heart disease, congenital heart problems, smoking, and the use of certain medications.

A pacemaker is a small electronic device that replaces the body’s own natural electrical system when the heartbeat is too slow. Implanted in the chest, the pacemaker is comprised of two parts. The pulse generator contains a small computer and a battery and is placed just under the skin near the heart. The leads are insulated wires that connect the pulse generator to the heart muscle. The pacemaker is programmed by the surgeon to send an electrical impulse to the heart when the heart rate drops to a certain level, or when the heart stops beating altogether. This stimulation causes the heart muscle to contract and beat so that it maintains a steady rate and rhythm.