The surgical techniques used in the correction of mitral valvular stenosis and insufficiency have shared in the rapid evolution introduced by the open methods of intracardiac surgery. The past 3 years have witnessed a rapidly growing adoption of procedures on the mitral valve performed under direct vision. At present, many workers have already reported their initial experiences with these new techniques.1-8 Their results would suggest that closed manipulations are gradually being discarded in the surgical treatment of mitral stenosis and have become altogether obsolete in the attempted correction of mitral incompetence. Not only do the open methods already compare favorably with the closed procedures in morbidity and mortality rates, but the greater technical accuracy possible with them promises much more in the way of long-term results in the rehabilitation of these patients.
Our experiences at the Cardiology Department and the Thoracic Surgery Service at Hahnemann Hospital have paralleled these