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Mitral Regurgitation

The mitral valve in your heart plays a vital role in efficient blood flow, so if it goes wrong, it could have serious consequences. If you’ve got a condition like mitral valve regurgitation that prevents the valve from working properly, talk to the experts at ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center. At their offices in Dearborn, Detroit, and Trenton, Michigan, the practice’s experienced cardiologists offer effective, minimally invasive solutions to restoring mitral valve function. To find out more, call your nearest office today, or use the online form to schedule a consultation.

Mitral Regurgitation Q & A

What is mitral regurgitation?

Mitral regurgitation affects the valves in your heart. There are four valves, and they work in unison. The mitral valve delivers oxygenated blood from one of your heart’s chambers (your left atrium) to another chamber (the left ventricle).

Mitral regurgitation occurs when blood leaks back through the mitral valve each time your left ventricle contracts. The blood from your left ventricle should go on to the aortic valve and from there into the arteries. But this leakage means the blood can flow back into the left atrium.

What symptoms does mitral regurgitation cause?

If your mitral regurgitation is mild, you might not experience any problems. However, if it’s more serious, you could have symptoms like palpitations (rapid or fluttering heartbeat), shortness of breath when physically active, coughing, and edema (swelling of your legs and feet).

Severe mitral regurgitation can cause complications such as:

Congestive heart failure

Heart failure occurs if your heart can’t pump enough blood into your body. The symptoms listed above could be signs of heart failure.

Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation or AFib means your heart’s atrium is quivering rather than beating rhythmically. Mitral regurgitation may enlarge the left atrium because of the blood leaking into it from your left ventricle. AFib affects your heart’s pumping ability.

Pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in your lungs, which can lead to heart failure.

How is mitral regurgitation treated?

Mild mitral regurgitation might be treatable with anticoagulant medication. But the most effective solution, especially for more severe cases, is to repair or replace the mitral valve.

One option is to replace the faulty mitral valve with an artificial or donated one. The ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center team also performs transcatheter edge-to-edge repair (TEER) using a MitralClip™. The mitral valve clip is a small device rather like a clothespin that holds the edges of the leaking valve together.

With both of these treatments, your provider at ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center uses minimally invasive cardiac catheterization techniques. These involve making a small incision in a large artery and inserting a catheter into the blood vessel. A catheter is a tube that’s slim and flexible enough to follow the artery along to your heart.

When the catheter reaches the mitral valve, your provider can fit in the clip or insert the replacement valve. This technique is far less painful and invasive than open heart surgery, and you should make a much quicker recovery.

To find out more about effective treatments for mitral regurgitation, call ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center today, or book an appointment online.