Care for Mitral Valve Prolapse at University of Colorado Hospital
Why Choose Treatment for Mitral Valve Prolapse at University of Colorado Hospital?
As part of an academic medical center, University of Colorado Hospital provides patients who have mitral valve prolapse the best care possible.
Our skilled surgeons - who, as School of Medicine faculty, teach the next generation of heart surgeons - use advanced technology and proven techniques to repair heart valve conditions.
In addition, we provide a full range of pre-operative testing and after-care services.
Mitral Valve Prolapse Specialists
Cardiologist - a doctor who specialize in study of the actions of the heart and its diseases
Cardiac Surgeon - a cardiologist who specializes in the surgical treatment of heart disease
Cardiac surgery fellow - a doctor whose training emphasizes teaching and research and who is receiving clinical training in cardiology
Residents/interns - doctors who have completed medical school and are continuing with post-graduate medical training
Other Mitral Valve Prolapse Staff
Cardiac surgery case manager – a health professional who manages and coordinates the care of patients between different departments
Exercise physiologists - a health professional who teaches patients how to safely exercise to improve their health
Registered nurses - nurses licensed in the state of Colorado who conducts medical evaluations, takes patient histories and provides ongoing care for patients
Occupational therapist - A health professional trained to help people who are ill or disabled learn to manage their daily activities
Physical therapist - A trained health professional who performs and teaches exercise, massage and other techniques that aid in recovery and maximize physical ability with less pain
Your doctor will listen to your heart with a stethoscope to detect a whooshing, clicking or gurgling sound (heart murmur). This can be an indication that the mitral valve is not opening or closing properly.
X-ray pictures of your chest will reveal if your heart is enlarged or if fluid has seeped into your lungs.
The ultrasound test uses a wand that emits painless, high-frequency sound waves to show how well blood is flowing through the arteries.
An echocardiogram (ECHO), also known as a cardiac ultrasound, uses sound waves to create pictures of the heart.
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is used to determine the rate and regularity of your heartbeat. In an EKG, a provider attaches wires to your body. These wires detect electrical signals from the heart, which are recorded on a machine for the doctor’s review.
Even if you have mitral valve prolapse, the condition may not be serious enough to require treatment. However, if the valve leakage is serious enough, your doctor may try to treat the condition either with medication or with surgery.
Medical Treatments for Mitral Valve Prolapse
- Antibiotics prevent or treat endocarditis, or inflammation of the lining of the heart
- Anti-coagulant drugs prevent blood clots
- Blood thinners prevent blood clots
- Diuretics remove excess fluid that has leaked into the lungs
- Digitalis increases the strength of the heart’s contractions
- Other drugs prevent irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
- Vasodilators widen the blood vessels so that the heart can pump more easily
Mitral Valve Repair/Replacement
If the mitral valve malfunction seriously affects the flow of blood away from your heart, your surgeon may decide to repair or replace it with open heart surgery.
Living With Mitral Valve Prolapse
Even if your mitral valve malfunctions, you may not need treatment. However, it is important to monitor your heart regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes:
- Exercising regularly
- Following a balanced and healthy diet (controlling fat and cholesterol intake)
- Not smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding stress
Getting a Second Opinion about Mitral Valve Prolapse
The doctors and staff at the University of Colorado Hospital Cardiac & Vascular Center are happy to provide second opinions for people who have been diagnosed with Mital Valve Prolapse.
Mitral Valve Prolapse Support Groups
Mended Hearts - National support group for patients, their families and friends with heart disease.
Additional Mitral Valve Prolapse Resources
American Heart Association
Mitral Valve Prolapse at a Glance
The mitral valve regulates the flow of blood on the left side of the heart.
It keeps the blood moving in one direction and prevents blood from leaking backward (regurgitating) from the lower chamber of the heart (the ventricle) into the upper chamber (atrium) when the heart contracts.
When the mitral valve malfunctions and blood flows backward, the condition is known as a prolapse. Although this can be harmless, in severe cases it must be treated with surgery to repair or replace the valve.
An estimated 3 percent of the U.S. population has some form of mitral valve prolapse, but a far smaller percentage will require surgery.