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mitral valveprolapse

overview

A mitral valve prolapse (MVP) happens when a bulge develops in the flaps that close your mitral valve, the valve that controls blood flow between the upper and lower chambers on the left side of your heart. The bulge keeps the valve from closing completely, so blood sometimes leaks backward instead of flowing forward through your heart and out to the rest of your body. (Doctors call this backward blood flow regurgitation.)

MVP can occur any time, but women from 20 to 40 are most likely to develop it. Some people inherit the condition. You’re also more likely to have it if you have scoliosis, polycystic kidney disease or a connective tissue disorder like Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

symptoms

Many people with mitral valve prolapse have no symptoms or health problems that require treatment. In fact, you may not even know you have a prolapse unless your doctor checks your heart with a stethoscope during a physical and hears a click-murmur sound. However, sometimes MVP can cause:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue, dizziness or anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Shortness of breath

Occasionally, MVP can lead to atrial fibrillation, a chronic heart rhythm disturbance, or infective endocarditis, an infection of the inside lining of your heart.

diagnosis

If you have MVP symptoms, talk to your Aurora Health Care doctor. They’ll give you a physical and may do diagnostic testing including:

services & treatment

Your doctor will work with you to find the right approach. It may include medications such as:

  • Anti-arrhythmics
  • Blood-thinners
  • Digoxin
  • Diuretics
  • Medications to treat palpitations and chest pain
  • Vasodilators

Other options may include: 

  • A mitral clip (Your doctor implants a clip that narrows the valve enough to stop the leak. Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center is the only center in Wisconsin that uses a catheter-based approach when implanting a mitral clip.)
  • Robotically assisted valve repair surgery

Both approaches let you recover more quickly and enjoy a shorter hospital stays than you would with traditional surgery. If your doctor can’t repair your mitral valve, valve replacement surgery may be another alternative.

why Aurora?

You're at the Heart of our Care 

Aurora Health Care offers coordinated care for preventing, diagnosing and treating heart and vascular disease. World-renowned heart and vascular specialists diagnose and treat all types of cardiovascular conditions and disorders, using the most advanced state-of-the-art tools and technologies available today. 

You can count on personalized, compassionate care from experts. We’re leaders in treating valve-related conditions at The Valvular Heart Disease Center. If you need valve surgery, we’ll be there to support you every step of the way.

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