In mitral valve disease, the valve between your left heart chambers (left atrium and left ventricle) doesn't work properly.

Types of mitral valve disease include:

  • Mitral valve regurgitation. In this condition, the flaps (leaflets) of the mitral valve weaken, causing blood to leak backward into the left atrium of your heart. If not treated, it can result in heart muscle damage. The most common cause of blood leakage is mitral valve prolapse, in which the leaflets bulge back into the left atrium as your heart contracts.
  • Mitral valve stenosis. In this condition, the mitral valve opening is narrowed.
  • Experience. Mayo Clinic doctors trained in heart and blood vessel conditions (cardiologists) and heart and blood vessel surgery (cardiovascular surgeons) have experience in evaluating and treating people who have mitral valve disease and other types of heart valve disease.
  • Diagnostic tools. Mayo Clinic cardiologists use many tests to accurately diagnose people who have mitral valve disease. Tests may include echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, chest X-ray, cardiac catheterization and others.
  • Treatment expertise. Mayo Clinic doctors and surgeons have expertise treating mitral valve disease with procedures including balloon valvotomy, mitral valve repair, mitral valve replacement and other types of heart valve surgery. Surgeons also perform minimally invasive heart surgery, which involves smaller incisions that often result in less pain and a quicker recovery. Doctors also monitor you over time for any changes in your condition.
  • Efficient system. Mayo Clinic doctors diagnose your condition and develop your treatment plan, often in a few days.
  • Team approach. Mayo Clinic doctors work together to determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition.
  • Research. Mayo Clinic doctors study new diagnosis and treatment options for mitral valve disease and other heart valve diseases and conduct clinical trials.

Related book: Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life! book provides an easy-to-follow plan to prevent and conquer heart disease.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for heart and heart surgery.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

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What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Doctors trained in cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular and thoracic surgery treat people who have mitral valve disease at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in cardiovascular diseases and cardiothoracic surgery treat people who have mitral valve disease at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular surgery treat people who have mitral valve disease at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Staff in the Heart Valve Disease Clinic also diagnose and treat people who have mitral valve disease.

For appointments or more information, call Cardiovascular Diseases at 507-284-3994 or Cardiovascular Surgery at 507-255-2000 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday, or complete an online appointment request form. No physician referral is necessary. Cardiologists generally can see most people within two weeks after their appointment requests, and often cardiologists can see people within a week or less after the appointment request. People with urgent issues usually can be seen within 24 hours after their requests. In emergencies, people are transferred directly to inpatient hospital care.

Doctors trained in pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular surgery treat children who have mitral valve disease at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Children needing hospitalization receive care at Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in heart and blood vessel conditions (cardiologists), heart and blood vessel surgery (cardiovascular surgeons), and others study new diagnostic tests and potential treatments for people who have mitral valve disease. Mayo Clinic researchers also have studied the most appropriate timing for mitral valve surgery for people. Read more on the cardiovascular research website.

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on mitral valve disease on PubMed, a service of theNational Library of Medicine.

Read about the role of 3-D echocardiography in heart valve disease.

Nov. 19, 2012