When heart valves fail to close properly, the implications for the heart can be serious, possibly hampering the heart's ability to pump blood adequately through the body. Heart valve problems such as mitral valve regurgitation are one cause of heart failure and also can lead to atrial fibrillation (Afib).
Mitral valve regurgitation is the most common type of heart valve disease. Complications of mitral valve regurgitation can include heart failure and related symptoms (e.g. shortness of breath), atrial fibrillation and stroke due to arrhythmias.
Damaged mitral valves are either repaired or replaced and doctors with Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute have vast experience in both procedures.
Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute offers:
- 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).
- Heart valve repair: Your doctor uses existing valve tissue and resection or utilize extra chords to make the valve competent.
- Video-assisted mitral valve repair: Your doctor inserts a small camera and instruments into tiny incisions between your ribs to perform surgery to fix mitral valve regurgitation.
There are various causes for mitral valve regurgitation. You might be born with a mitral valve defect, have had prior heart attacks, high blood pressure or rheumatic fever, or have myxomatous degenerative changes.
Signs and symptoms can include:
- Heart murmur
- Heart palpitations
- Swollen feet or ankles
- Shortness of breath, especially when lying down