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Mitral Valve Disease Overview

Clip Number: 14 of 41
Presentation: Common Heart Conditions, Tests, and Procedures
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Mitral valve diseases affect the mitral valve of the heart. The mitral valve is in the left side of the heart, and connects the upper chamber of the heart to the lower chamber. When the mitral valve is not healthy, it can't open or close the right way.
When valves do not work correctly, they cannot send enough blood through the heart and to the body to keep you healthy. Mitral valve diseases can be very mild to very severe. A person might have mitral valve disease for many years and have no symptoms. But, this can eventually affect how well your heart works.
For those people who have symptoms of mitral valve disease, some types of medicine can help. However, medication can only treat the SYMPTOMS of valve problems rather than the CAUSE of them.
In cases of mitral valve disease where medicine does not help, a mitral valve replacement may be needed. This is a surgery in which an unhealthy mitral valve is remonved and replaced with another valve. In most cases, this surgery can improve the symptoms caused by the unhealthy valve, such as shortness of breath, fainting, fatigue, and swelling in the legs.

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