Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes mitral valve prolapse?"
My doctor says my irregular heart beat is from mitral valve prolapse. What causes this? Are you born with it? He said I shouldn't worry too much about it but to tell the dentist about it and other doctors if they are going to put me under.
Mitral valve prolapse is a relatively common problem with a heart valve. This happens in many people -- and rarely if ever calls problems. That being said -- this occasionally can cause problems that require significant medical intervention. I would recommend you further discuss this with your primary care doctor. He can further evaluate this and explain what he has mentioned. The mitral valve is the valve on the left side of the heart between where the blood enters the heart (the atrium) and where the blood is ejected from the heart (the ventricle). The left side of the heart is the important side that pumps blood from the lungs (where it gets oxygen) to the body. Mitral valve prolapse occurs when the valve doesn't close fully and actually bends back onto itself. People are born with this valve problem. This normally has no clinical signifcance -- although there can be some extra heart sounds heart when listening to your heart. If the mitral valve worsens -- this can develop into mitral regurgitation -- which is when the valve not only bends back onto itself but also allows blood to go the wrong way. This is a problem that can cause irregular heart beats and other problems. If mitral regurgitation is severe, we give antibiotics during procedures as the hope is to not let bacteria "stick" to a bad valve. Please talk to your doctor for more information.
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