Mitral Valve Prolapse

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Mitral Valve Prolapse


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Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program

Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease Program

The mitral valve is located between the heart's left atrium and left ventricle. With each heartbeat, it opens and closes to ensure that blood flows in one directlon only: From the left atrium, to the left ventricle, and out through the aorta to the body.
People with Marfan Syndrome often have an enlarged mitral valve. As it closes, the valve may flop backwards into the left atrium. This is called mitral valve prolapse.
Concerns and Symptoms
Mild mitral valve prolapse usually causes few symptoms. However, a prolapsed mitral valve may allow blood to leak backward from the left ventricle into the left atrium (regurgitation). This can cause:
  • Shortness of breath
  • An irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Or chest pain

normal mitral valve

mitral valve prolapse


Treatment for Mitral Valve Prolapse


Patients with severe mitral valve prolapse may require surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve. The operation is performed under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep during surgery.


First, the surgeon makes a vertical incision in the front of the chest, opens the breastbone, and exposes the heart. Blood from the heart is redirected to a bypass machine. The bypass machine does the job of the heart and lungs during the operation.


Then, the surgeon opens the heart and exposes the mitral valve. If the valve is being repaired, the surgeon removes the diseased portion, and reconstructs it using the surrounding natural tissue.


If the valve is being replaced, the surgeon removes the entire valve and replaces it with an artificial valve. The artificial valve can be either mechanical or from an animal donor.


The surgeon then shuts down the heart-lung bypass machine, and the heart starts beating again. The surgeon then closes the breastbone and chest incision, and applies bandages to the incision site.



What to Expect After Adult Congenital Cardiac Surgery