Heart Disease : Mitral Valve Prolapse : Treatment

Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) is not life-threatening in most of the cases and may not require treatment. Severity of symptoms may however mandate intervention in some cases. Medications or surgery may be required.

Medications

Symptoms such as chest pain, heart rhythm abnormalities may require drugs.

(1) Beta blockers

  • prevent irregular heartbeats
  • makes the heart beat more slowly and with less force
  • reduces blood pressure
  • improve blood flow by relaxing blood vessels

(2) Aspirin
Reduces the risk of blood clots

(3) Anticoagulants (blood thinners)

  • Often suggested in patients with history of heart failure and those with the condition called atrial fibrillation
  • Warfarin (Coumadin) is the commonly used one
  • Because of dangerous side effects they are used with great caution.

Surgery

Patients with severe mitral valve regurgitation (leakage of blood backwards through the valve) benefit from surgery. Available options are:

Valve repair: This is the commonly done procedure. Mitral valve has two flaps or leaflets. An experienced surgeon can either modify the original valve (valvuloplasty) or tighten (or replace) the ring around this valve (annuloplasty)

Valve replacement: This is done when valve repair fails. Two options are available:

Mechanical valves (Prosthetic or artificial valves) last for a long time but require the patient to have long time anticoagulant treatment so as to prevent clots.

Tissue valves (bio-prostheses) do not require anticoagulant therapy. However the disadvantage is that these valves may wear out overtime and hence require to be replaced.

You may also like: