Mitral valve repair is a highly challenging procedure. Surgeons must modify native valve tissue through a series of tissue resections and approximations. Restoring proper valve function is difficult because the heart is arrested during the procedure, so closed valve shape must be predicted rather than directly observed. It is this prediction, not the act of cutting and suturing, that presents the greater challenge to surgeons as they must rely on analysis of the flaccid valve and past experience. This skill is developed through traditional pedagogy, namely text- and image-based references, followed by a costly and time-consuming apprenticeship model.

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