Your heart has four valves, including the mitral valve. This valve is located
between the left atrium and the left ventricle. It features two flaps,
or leaflets, which keep the blood moving in the right direction. If your
heart doctor diagnoses you with mitral valve regurgitation, it means that the valve
doesn’t close properly. This causes blood to regurgitate back up
into the heart, rather than out of the heart.
Conditions that can inflict damage on the mitral valve may cause mitral
valve regurgitation. For example, your heart doctor may determine that
you have mitral valve prolapse, which occurs when one or both of the leaflets
on the mitral valve protrude into the left atrium. Another possible cause
is rheumatic fever, which is an infection that can cause scarring and
deformity of the leaflets. A heart attack can also place you at risk of
mitral valve regurgitation.
Mitral valve regurgitation may not always cause symptoms, particularly
when there is a low volume of blood being regurgitated. Over time; however,
symptoms such as shortness of breath or an abnormal heart rhythm may develop.
Patients with mitral valve regurgitation are at an increased risk of heart
failure. If heart failure develops, the symptoms can include fatigue,
problems breathing, loss of appetite, weight gain caused by fluid retention,
and swollen ankles and feet.
Your cardiologists may determine that treatment isn’t necessary
if your heart has a normal size and if you do not experience any symptoms.
However, you may need to take antibiotics before having dental work or
undergoing certain medical procedures. If you do need to undergo treatment
for the condition, you may start taking drugs that dilate the blood vessels.
Unfortunately, these drugs aren’t typically the best option for
long-term management. Patients with moderate to severe mitral valve regurgitation
often require surgery to repair or replace the valve.
Cardiac Solutions, you’ll find a team of caring cardiologists near Phoenix, Avondale,
and Sun City West. We provide compassionate care for patients with heart
conditions, including mitral valve regurgitation, congestive heart failure,
coronary artery disease, and many others. You can contact our clinic at
(623) 876-8816 or browse our website for information about our advanced