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Mitral Valve Regurgitation - Treatment Overview

Treatment for chronicmitral valve regurgitation (MR) includes monitoring your heart function and symptoms, as well as treating symptoms as they develop. If MR becomes severe, the mitral valve will need to be repaired or replaced.

Treatment for acute MR is immediate. Medicines and urgent surgery are usually needed.

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Chronic regurgitation

Treatment depends on whether you have symptoms or complications, and how severe the regurgitation is.

Monitoring. If you don't have symptoms and you only have mild-to-moderate regurgitation, your doctor may only monitor your heart and valve function with an echocardiogram.

The echocardiogram uses painless ultrasound waves to check how well your heart is pumping blood (ejection fraction) and to measure the size of your left ventricle. The smaller the ejection fraction, the harder your heart must work to pump a sufficient volume of blood.

Medicine. Your doctor may prescribe medicines to relieve symptoms or treat complications. For more information, see Medications.

Surgery. Valve repair or replacement surgery might be recommended if:1

  • You have symptoms.
  • Regurgitation is severe.
  • Your heart has pumping problems (low ejection fraction).
  • Your left ventricle is larger than normal.

For more information, see Surgery.

Acute regurgitation

Initial treatment for acute MR includes medicines as needed to stabilize your condition. If medicines don't help, an intra-aortic balloon pump may be used for a short time to help circulate blood and ease the workload on your heart. Surgery is done immediately to replace or repair the valve.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 29, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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