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Two Views on Calcium Deposits in Heart

Published: January 2, 2010

I have a leaky mitral valve and calcium deposits in my heart. One surgeon said: “We leave calcium deposits alone.” Another one said: “We always remove them.” Both doctors are world-class. Why would they have different opinions?

Both of your doctors could be right. It depends on where the calcium is, how much is there, and whether it is buried in the heart muscle or mobile, like in a valve leaflet. If it is immobile, it may not be necessary to remove because it is anchored in place and may not be causing any problems.

If it is moving, it may be susceptible to breaking off into the bloodstream, and its removal might be a priority. Be bold and ask both doctors to explain their positions. Having a significant leak in your valve could be a reason for operating to try to fix it.

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