Get answers to your Mitral Valve Surgery questions.
Chronic mitral valve regurgitation; Mitral valve insufficiency
The choice of treatment depends on the symptoms present and the condition and function of the heart.
Patients with high blood pressure or a weakened heart muscle may be given medications to reduce the strain on the heart and help improve the condition.
Anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications (blood thinners) may be used to prevent clots from forming in patients with atrial fibrillation.
Digitalis may be used to strengthen the heartbeat, along with diuretics (water pills) to remove excess fluid in the lungs.
A low-sodium diet may be helpful. Most people have no symptoms; but if a person develops symptoms, activity may be restricted.
Hospitalization may be required for diagnosis and treatment of severe symptoms. Surgical repair or replacement of the valve is recommended if heart function is poor, symptoms are severe, or the condition gets worse. Once the diagnosis of mitral regurgitation is made, you should have regular follow-ups with a specialist to determine whether you need surgery.
In the past, patients with heart valve problems such as mitral regurgitation were given antibiotics before dental work or an invasive procedure, such as colonoscopy. The antibiotics were given to prevent an infection of the damaged heart valve. However, antibiotics are now used much less often before dental work and other procedures.
The outcome varies based on the underlying conditions. Usually the condition is benign, so no therapy or restriction is necessary. Symptoms can usually be controlled with medication. In severe cases, valve repair or valve replacement may be needed.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation, or if symptoms worsen or do not improve with treatment.
Also call your health care provider if you are being treated for this condition and develop signs of infection, which include:
Karchmer AW. Infectious endocarditis. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2007:chap 63.
Nishimura RA, Carabello BA, Faxon DP, et al. ACC/AHA 2008 Guideline update on valvular heart disease: focused update on infective endocarditis: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines endorsed by the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;52:676-685.
Fullerton DA, Harken AH. Acquired heart disease: valvular. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Sunders Elsevier;2008:chap 62.
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