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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Valvular Heart Diseases

Question: Mitral valve regurgitation

 sle1501 - Mon Apr 14, 2003 9:28 am

My mother was recently diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation. She is 73 yrs. old. They are recommending repair or replacement, but have first put her on Altace for one month, then a follow-up visit. She has no idea of the degree of regurgitation and did not quite understand much of what the doctor told her. Except to hear those dreaded words "open heart surgery." I live 10 hours away and cannot go with her to the doctor.

I also have been diagnosed with mitral valve prolaplse, mitral regurgitation, & tricuspid regurgitation by echocardiogram. I am 44 years old. All I was ever told about the results was that I have 2+ mitral regurgitation & 1+ tricuspid regurgitation & the prolapse. I had the echo because of palpitations I was having. The family doctor then put me on Inderal LA 120mg.

My question is....What is the varying degrees of severity? And how do they decide who needs surgery? Also, should I contact my HMO doctor and asked to be referred to a Cardiologist? How often should I have an Echo? It has been 3 years since I had mine.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Wed Apr 16, 2003 6:23 pm

User avatar Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for using our website.

Regarding your mother, i think if the doctor who told that she needs replacement or repair was a cardiologist then i would assume that there are indications to do so. Starting altace might indicate that she has some degree of heart failure and the altace is being used to try to decrease the load on the heart and having heart failure would be an indication to operate.

Usually the patients who need surgery are the ones who have severe mitral regurgitation and the decision of who should go to surgery puts several factors into consideration:
1. Presence or absence of symptoms.
2. Function of the heart.
3. Whether the mitral valve could be repaired or not.
4. Presence of abnormal irregular heart beats and/or elevation in the pulmonary pressure.

About your condition, yes, i think that you should be followed by a cardiologist and be seen according to the current recommendations at least every 6 months and have an echocardiogram at least every 12 months.

Once more, thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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