Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a common, usually benign heart disorder. The mitral valve controls blood flow between the upper and lower chambers on the left side of the heart. Normally, blood should only flow from the upper chamber into the lower chamber. In MVP, the valve flaps do not work properly. Part of the valve balloons into the atrium, which may be associated with blood flowing in the wrong direction or leaking back into the lower chamber.
Mitral valve prolapse can be heard through a stethoscope. A small blood leakage will sound like a murmur. When the mitral valve balloons backward, it may produce a clicking sound. Both murmurs and clicks are signs of MVP. An
can confirm the diagnosis. You may also be asked to wear a
for a day or two to record the electrical activity of your heart.
In most cases, no treatment is necessary. Although no longer routinely recommended, you may need to take antibiotics prior to some dental and medical procedures. This is to prevent heart infections. Ask your doctor if you will need to take antibiotics.
If symptoms include chest pain, anxiety, or panic attacks, a beta-blocker medication can be prescribed. Ask your doctor whether you may continue to participate in your usual physical activities.
In very rare cases, the blood leakage may become severe. In these few cases, the mitral valve may need to be surgically repaired or replaced.