Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) occurs when the valve between the left upper chamber (left atrium) of the heart and the left lower chamber (left ventricle) does not close properly. The mitral valve will stand out (prolapses) upward or back into the atrium.

Problems in the mitral valve causes blood to leak into the left atrium, a condition called mitral valve regurgitation. In most people, MVP is not life threatening and do not require treatment. However, some people with MVP do need treatment.

When the signs and symptoms occur, it is usually caused by blood leaking backward through the valve (regurgitation). MVP symptoms can vary from mild to develop in stages, namely:

• Heart beating fast and irregular (arrhythmia)
• Dizziness
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, often when lying flat
• Chest pain that is not caused by a heart attack or coronary artery disease

Most people with MVP, especially those with no symptoms, need no treatment. However, if you have symptoms, your doctor may recommend medication or surgery, depending on the conditions.

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