Font Size

Mitral Valve Prolapse (cont.)

Medical Treatment

Usually a person needs no medications for mitral valve prolapse, just a strong dose of reassurance.

  • If a person has unusual heart rhythms, such as palpitations, she may need treatment with beta-blockers.


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.


A person with mitral valve prolapse should see a health care provider 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.


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
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/1/2015
Medical Author:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to Mitral Valve Prolapse

Anxiety Anxiety as a medical condition is characterized b...learn more >>
Chest Pain
Chest Pain Overview Chest pain has a variety of noncardiac and cardiac causes, some of which can be very serious. Signs and symptoms of chest pain may include burning, squeezing, o...learn more >>
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive Heart Failure The heart is a pump that works together with the lungs. It pumps blood in two ways. Congestive heart failure is a serious condition, but it can be managed.learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Mitral Valve Prolapse:

Mitral Valve Prolapse - Treatment

Were beta blockers effective in treating your mitral valve prolapse, or was surgery necessary?

Mitral Valve Prolapse - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with your mitral valve prolapse?

Atrial Fibrillation Slideshow

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Mitral Valve Prolapse »

Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is the most common valvular abnormality, affecting approximately 2-6% of the population in the United States.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary