Now Playing: Treatments for Mitral Valve Disease
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The treatment for mitral valve disease depends on the type of valve problem and how severe it is. Patients with mild mitral valve disease who have few or no symptoms need to see their physician regularly.
If the condition becomes worse, medications may be used. These medicines can help regulate the heart rhythm, control swelling by getting rid of extra fluids in the body, and/or help the left ventricle to pump better. However, medications only serve to treat the symptoms of valve problems rather than fix what causes them.
In more severe cases, surgery is needed. Most often, a mitral valve replacement is performed. This surgery takes out a bad mitral valve, which is inside the heart, and replaces it with another valve.
In more rare cases, a percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty may be performed. This is only done when there is not much damage to the mitral valve. This procedure does not require open surgery. It consists of a long catheter being fed through a vessel, usually in your groin, that goes to the mitral valve and pushes open the valve, using a balloon. However, results of this procedure have not been promising, and it has a high complication rate.
People with mitral valve disease are at increased risk for developing an infection of the valve also called endocarditis, and must always take antibiotics before certain dental or surgical procedures.
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