Mitral valve prolapse (MVP), often the result of myxomatous degeneration of the mitral valve, is the most commonly known pathologic entity leading to pure mitral regurgitation (MR). Reconstruction of the mitral valve rather than replacement is particularly applicable to this pathologic defect, but is not often used in the U.S. Experience with reconstruction of the mitral valve for MR secondary to MVP during the period January 1970 to January 1984 was reviewed. A total of 479 patients with mitral valve disease underwent operation during this period, 82 (17%) of whom had MR secondary to MVP. Thirty-one patients (6%) had valve reconstruction by a technique of leaflet plication and posteromedial anuloplasty. Eleven of these patients had associated cardiac disease requiring correction: 2 requiring aortic valve replacement and 9 requiring coronary artery bypass grafting procedures. One hospital death (3%) and 6 late deaths (19%) occurred, of which only 3 were related to cardiac factors. Major complications included recurrent MR in 5 patients and cerebral embolus in 1 patient. The adjusted 5-year survival rate was 89 ± 6 (mean ± standard error of the mean), and the overall survival rate of patients free of cardiac-related complications was 73 ±9%. Thus, reconstruction of the mitral valve is a highly effective surgical approach to the management of symptomatic patients with MR secondary to MVP, and its use is favored over replacement in the management of these patients.