Mitral valve prolapse

It sounds pretty scary, a buckled heart valve, it's called a mitral valve prolapse, most often it is not serious and can be easily managed.

"The mitral valve prolapse is one of the valves of the heart is sometimes too large so when the heart squeezes the valve moves upward in the upper chamber," said Dr. Andrij Baran.

With tighter guidelines as to what constitutes a mitral valve prolapse, fewer people are diagnosed, most are found in routine exams, symptoms range from none at all to.

"Sharp jabby chest pain, palpitations, it has been associated with anxiety disorders, panic attacks," Baran said.


Beta blockers and exercise can reduce symptoms but caffeine and decongestants can make things worse.

"Mitral valve prolaspe can be very benign and in a small percent of people can be serious where the valve not only buckles but leaks. If the leakage is enough, then eventually the heart tires and weakens and people go into heart failure," Baran explained.


If you do have mitral valve prolapse with a leaky valve, you need to be followed very carefully.

"If your valve becomes flail, which is totally leaks wide open that can lead to heart failure. Leaky valves have the problem is that they don't warn you when there's a problem and by the time they warn you, it's too late," Baran said.

It wasn't long ago if you had a mitral valve prolapse, you were put on antibiotics if you had any dental work, that would prevent any bacteria from harming the heart, everything has changed just five years ago.


"They did the statistics on it and felt that you are more likely to get an allergic reaction from the antibiotic than you are to get infection, so now unless you have an artificial valve or artificial parts in your heart, they don't recommend that on a routine basis," said Baran.

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