Mitral Regurgitation (MR) is when your heart's mitral valve allows blood to flow back. If this is significant, blood cannot flow to the rest of your body properly, causing symptoms that include difficulty doing activities or feeling out of breath.
Mitral Valve Prolapse occurs when the mitral valve leaflets do not line up properly because the leaflet tissue is too relaxed. Blood can leak backwards from the left ventricle to the left atrium.
When bacteria or fungi invade the bloodstream and adhere to the valves, they prevent the mitral valve from closing properly. This can cause Mitral Regurgitation.
Sometimes strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever which can cause scar tissue to form within the heart. When this happens, the valves of the heart become inflamed and cause Mitral Regurgitation.
Both congenital heart abnormalities and acquired heart abnormalities can cause MR when the components of the mitral valve change due to developmental or chronic conditions.
Heart Attacks can cause the heart muscle to weaken resulting in changes to the structure of the mitral valve.
Valve diseases may not worsen over time but sometimes they can. It is important to continue to monitor your heart disease to reduce the risk of developing life-threatening complications. Your doctor should have a plan on how to continue to monitor your disease.
Mechanical valves are more durable and should last for the rest of your life but require that you take lifelong blood thinning medication. Bioprosthetics only last about 10 to 20 years but do not require long-term blood thinning medication. Speak with your doctor on which may be right for you.
Depending on the severity of your Mitral Regurgitation, your doctor may be able to perform a minimally invasive repair. A consultation with a cardiac surgeon experienced with repair/replacement techniques will be very important.
Open is more invasive and will most likely require more recovery time while percutaneous does not require a large incision and will allow for a quicker recovery.
Depending on your overall health, your doctor will be able to discuss options for surgery. If open-heart surgery is too dangerous for you, your doctor may discuss percutaneous options.
Your doctor may be able to perform a surgical or minimally invasive repair that allows your mitral valve to function properly.
Your mitral valve may be replaced by your doctor through surgery or through a minimally invasive technique.
A minimally invasive procedure that uses a catheter to attach the MitraClip device to your mitral valve. It allows the mitral valve to close properly, allowing for proper blood flow through the rest of your heart.
Mild and moderate mitral regurgitation can be treated through medical management. Medications can be used to reduce the symptoms of your mitral regurgitation. Medications include diuretics, antihypertensives, beta blockers, vasodilators or antibiotics. These can also reduce the risk of complications associated with mitral regurgitation.
Learn about common symptoms and treatments for Mitral Regurgitation
Learn more about Mitral Regurgitation via CardioSmart
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