Mitral Valve Prolapse


This is a problem with the heart's mitral valve. That's the valve between the chambers on the left side of the heart. The mitral valve opens when the heart expands, and closes when the heart contracts. But with this condition, one or both of the valve's flaps are floppy or stretchy. They don't close the way they should. Instead, they bulge into the upper chamber. Blood may leak through the valve.


What causes mitral valve prolapse? Well, we don't always know. Some people are born with it. Others develop it later in life. Mitral valve prolapse tends to run in families. It's also more common in people who have certain syndromes and diseases. It may be linked to Marfan syndrome, muscular dystrophy, scoliosis and other issues.


What are the symptoms? You can have this condition and not know it. But if you do have noticeable symptoms, you may have things like shortness of breath, dizziness and lightheadedness. These are most common during physical activity. You may feel tired. And, your heart's rhythm may not always be normal. This can be dangerous.


How do we treat it? If you don't have symptoms, you may not need any treatment. If your symptoms are mild, you may benefit from medications and lifestyle changes. If your symptoms are severe, you may need surgery or some other treatment. Your doctor will create a plan that's right for you.