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Mitral Valve Prolapse (cont.)

IN THIS ARTICLE

Will surgery cure mitral valve prolapse?

On rare occasions, worsening valve leakage or extreme prolapse may require surgery to repair the valve. Improvements in heart surgery in the past 10 years have shown less need for mitral valve replacement with an artificial valve.

Should I follow-up with my doctor after being treated for mitral valve prolapse?

A person with mitral valve prolapse should see a health-care professional for a follow-up exam every 2-3 years, including a clinical evaluation and possibly an ECHO test to assess whether blood leakage is worsening.

What is the outlook for a person with mitral valve prolapse?

Mitral valve prolapse is usually a harmless disorder that does not lead to a heart attack and does not prevent a person from having a normal, active life. The condition does trigger some possible complications, but overall risk for them is very low. These complications include the following:

  • Cardiac arrhythmias: These are usually only benign premature beats that need no drug treatment. Occasionally, they can have sustained supraventricular tachycardia needing further, more definitive, medical therapy. Sudden cardiac arrest due to a ventricular tachycardia, which is life threatening, is very rarely reported.
  • Worsening mitral regurgitation/insufficiency (backward blood flow) from either worsening prolapse or rupture of a heart muscle or tendon
  • Congestive heart failure, due to the mitral regurgitation
  • Stroke from a blood clot reaching the brain from the heart
  • Inflammation of inner portions of the heart valves, called endocarditis

What does mitral valve prolapse look like?

A 2-dimensional ECG showing the rear mitral valve leaflet sinking into the left atrium.
A 2-dimensional ECG showing the rear mitral valve leaflet sinking into the left atrium. Click to view larger image.

A 2-dimensional ECG viewed parallel to the sternum shows the rear mitral valve leaflet bulging back into the left atrium during a heart contraction.
A 2-dimensional ECG viewed parallel to the sternum shows the rear mitral valve leaflet bulging back into the left atrium during a heart contraction. Click to view larger image.

A 2-dimensional ECG viewed parallel to the sternum shows the rear mitral valve leaflet bulging back into the left atrium during a heart contraction.
A 2-dimensional ECG viewed parallel to the sternum shows the rear mitral valve leaflet bulging back into the left atrium during a heart contraction. Click to view larger image.

Medically reviewed by Robert J. Bryg, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease

REFERENCE

Sorrentino, M. J., MD. "Mitral valve prolapse syndrome." UpToDate. Updated Apr 21, 2016.
<http://www.uptodate.com/contents/mitral-valve-prolapse-syndrome>


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/6/2016
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