The mitral valve opens to allow blood to flow from the left atrium (the small, upper-left chamber of the heart) into the left ventricle (the large, lower-left chamber of the heart). However, the valve can malfunction if it becomes stiff or misshapen due to disease or aging, greatly reducing the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body. If the valve doesn’t work properly, your heart can become enlarged or you can develop high pressure in the lungs. The three main types of mitral valve disease are mitral regurgitation, mitral valve prolapse, and mitral valve stenosis.
If you need treatment for any type of mitral valve disease in the Bay Area, you can Find a Doctor at Dignity Health. We offer advanced diagnostic procedures and treatment protocols for a variety of heart conditions, including heart valve disease.
Mitral Valve Disease Symptoms
Many people are unaware that they have mitral valve disease until their doctor hears a distinctive murmur when listening to the heart with a stethoscope.
In some cases, the symptoms of mitral valve disease can include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
If you ever experience chest pain with shortness of breath you should call 9-1-1 or seek immediate medical attention. These symptoms also could indicate a serious, life-threatening emergency such as a heart attack.
Causes of Mitral Valve Disease
Different factors can lead to the development of the different types of mitral valve disease:
- Mitral valve prolapse usually is caused by excessive nodules of collagen growing on the valve flaps.
- Mitral valve regurgitation can be caused by mitral valve prolapse, damage to the heart muscle from a heart attack, or for unknown reasons.
- Mitral valve stenosis almost always occurs due to valve injury from rheumatic fever.
Expert Mitral Valve Disease Treatment at Dignity Health
Our cardiologists focus on slowing the progression of valve damage and restoring the mitral valve to full function when treating mitral valve disease. Your treatment options may depend on:
- Type of mitral valve disease
- Stage of the condition
- Severity of your symptoms
- Your overall health
If you have a mild form of mitral valve disease, your doctor may not suggest treatment. However, if the disease becomes more advanced, your treatment options may include medication and surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve.
If you or someone you know needs treatment for mitral valve disease in the Bay Area, you can trust Dignity Health to provide personal care centered on respect and humankindness.
Dignity Health cardiologists are experts in treating mitral valve disease in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.