Objective: Modern surgical techniques now offer the potential for reconstructing rather than replacing the mitral valve in those patients who require an operation during childhood. The purpose of this study was to assess the outcome in our centre following mitral valvar surgery in children. Methods: Between 1992 and 2002, 51 consecutive children, with a mean age of 12.5 +/- 3.5 years, underwent surgical treatment of mitral valvar stenosis and/or insufficiency in the Cardiovascular Surgical Department of Istanbul University. Of the children, 20 underwent repair, whilst we replaced the valve in 31 patients. In one, we inserted a pulmonary valvar autograft in mitral position. Results: There were neither early nor late deaths in those who underwent mitral valvar repair. Similarly, there were no early deaths in those in whom the valve was replaced, but two patients died late, while six outgrew their prosthetic valves and required insertion of a further valve within 10 years of their first operations. Conclusion: Our experience shows that procedures designed to repair the mitral valve are effective and reliable when performed in children, with low mortality, and a lower incidence of reoperation when compared with those having replacement of the mitral valve.