Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse is a relatively common and usually harmless problem. It is an improper closing of the heart valve between the left atrium and left ventricle that may allow leakage of blood back toward the heart. The Structural Heart Disease Program at Lehigh Valley Heart Institute provides high-quality care for people with mitral valve prolapse.

A leaking mitral valve allows blood to leak back into the left atrium. This is called mitral valve regurgitation. If a large amount of blood leaks back, it can cause symptoms. Mitral valve prolapse can get worse with age, however for many, the amount of leakage and symptoms never get worse.

Treatment for mitral valve prolapse

Medication is often used in mitral valve prolapse treatment in order to control the symptoms related to the condition. If medication is not effective and you need surgery to repair or replace your mitral valve, the team with the Structural Heart Disease Program at Lehigh Valley Heart Institute provides exceptional care. Our board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons perform hundreds of valve surgeries each year. Because we care for such a large number of people, our doctors have the experience to achieve the best results.

Mitral valve treatment options at Lehigh Valley Heart Institute:

  • MitraClip®: This device treats mitral valve regurgitation, or leaky valve, in patients who can’t undergo open-heart surgery. Your doctor uses a catheter-based approach to place the device, which clips and closes leaky valves.
  • Heart valve replacement: Your doctor replaces a damaged heart valve with a mechanical valve or a biological valve made from heart tissue taken from a pig (porcine) or cow (bovine).
  • Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR): A new transcatheter valve is inserted into the opening of the failed prosthetic valve and pushes the old valve leaflets aside.

Mitral valve repair avoids the need for anticoagulants, reduces the risk for endocarditis (infection in the inner lining of the heart’s chambers and valves), and preserves overall ventricular function.

Our surgeons work closely with your physician to plan your care step-by-step, making sure you are part of each decision.

Follow-up care after surgery for mitral valve prolapse

After surgery to correct mitral valve prolapse, the team at Lehigh Valley Heart Institute is here to help you recover. Rehabilitation is an important part of your recovery. You will benefit from an individualized program of supervised exercise and health education that focuses on lifestyle changes.

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