If you think you have mitral valve regurgitation, make an appointment to see your doctor. Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.
What you can do
- Be aware of pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do beforehand.
- Write down your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to mitral valve regurgitation.
- Write down key personal information, including a family history of heart disease, heart defects, genetic disorders, stroke, high blood pressure or diabetes, and any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you take.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you can help you remember information you receive.
- Be prepared to discuss your diet and exercise habits. If you don't already eat well and exercise, be ready to talk to your doctor about challenges you might face in getting started.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
For mitral valve regurgitation, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What tests will I need?
- What's the best treatment?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- If I need surgery, which surgeon do you recommend for mitral valve repair?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
Aug. 28, 2014
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Heart valve disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/hvd/hvd_all.html. Accessed June 2, 2014.
- Roles of your four heart valves. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Roles-of-Your-Four-Heart-Valves_UCM_450344_Article.jsp. Accessed June 2, 2014.
- Otto CM. Etiology, clinical features, and evaluation of chronic mitral regurgitation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 4, 2014.
- What is pulmonary hypertension? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pah/. Accessed June 2, 2014.
- Gaasch WH. Overview of the management of chronic mitral regurgitation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May June 4, 2014.
- Schiller NB, et al. Echocardiographic evaluation of the mitral valve. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 3, 2014.
- Maganti K, et al. Vascular heart disease: Diagnosis and management. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2010;85:483.
- Gaasch WH. Surgical procedures in severe chronic mitral valve regurgitation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 5, 2014.
- Nishimura RA, et al. 2014 ACC/AHA valve guidelines: Earlier intervention for chronic mitral regurgitation. Heart. 2014;100:905.
- Aldea GS. Minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve surgery. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 6, 2014.
- Otto CM. Acute mitral regurgitation in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 6, 2014.
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