What did the echocardiogram that you had show your ejection fraction to be? Have you had an exercise stress test as of yet or no?
Have you had a cardiac cath?
i think that from your symptoms, having an enlarged left ventricle and developing mitral regurge that you are headed down the surgery path. If surgery is thought of, personally, i would go ahead with it earlier rather than later.
You are young and you never mentioned whether you are a male or a female, as it makes a difference in the type of valve chosen for surgery.
There are 2 types of valves, metallic and bioprosthetic (also referred to as tissue or pig valve). The metallic valve lasts way longer than the tissue valve but it requires that you take blood thinners for life and this is not good if you are a female in the child bearing age as everytime you get pregnant you have to switch from warfarin (the most commonly used and the most widely commercially available blood thinner) to heparin injections, reason being that warfarin can cause problems to the baby.
On the other hand, tissue valves don't need blood thinners except for the first 3-6 months after surgery. Their problem is that sometimes, they need to be changed because they degenerate fast.
If you are a male, there might be a problem as well but from a different perspective. If you are an athletic male, it would not be easy for you to receive blood thinners because of the potential of being traumatized and the risk of bleeding. So, either give up sports or have a tissue valve till you decide that you had enough sports or the valve degenerates and needs to be changed. Or, you can decide to have a metallic valve and take the risk of bleeding.
Thank you very much for using our website http://doctorslounge.com
and i hope that this information helped.
Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.