The doctor will perform a physical examination and inquire about your signs and symptoms, medical history, and family history. A heart murmur, which may be an indication of mitral valve disease, will be heard by your doctor as they listen to your heart with a stethoscope.
The primary examination for identifying congenital mitral valve anomalies is an echocardiography. Sound waves produce moving video images of your heart during an echocardiography which displays the heart’s structure, heart valves, and blood flow.
The echocardiogram comes in two varieties. A transducer (device) is pressed firmly against your skin during a typical (transthoracic) echocardiogram so that the technician may direct an ultrasound beam through your chest to your heart. The transducer captures the echo of your heartbeat on tape. The echoes are transformed into animated pictures by a computer.
You could require a transesophageal echocardiography if your doctor feels that a normal echocardiogram does not provide enough information. A flexible probe with a transducer is inserted through the throat then down into the esophagus.
Further tests may be performed such as a chest X-ray or Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).
The signs, symptoms, and severity will determine the treatment for congenital mitral valve anomalies. Routine checkups are important to manage your health.
The mitral valve may eventually require surgical repair or replacement.
Mitral valve repair
When a mitral valve repair is an option, your doctor may advise to preserve your heart valve. During mitral valve repair, surgeons may perform any one or more of the following:
- Patch holes in a valve
- Reconnect valve flaps
- Separate fused valve flaps
- Separate, remove or reshape muscle near the valve
- Separate, lengthen, shorten, or replace the cords holding the valve.
- Cut away any extra valve tissue to allow the leaflets to firmly seal.
- Use an artificial ring to tighten or strengthen the ring surrounding a valve (annulus).
Mitral valve replacement
Your doctor might advise mitral valve replacement if the mitral valve cannot be fixed. The diseased mitral valve is removed during mitral valve replacement, and either a mechanical valve or a valve composed of cow, pig, or human heart tissue (biological tissue valve) is used in its replacement.
Biological tissue valves inevitably require replacement as they deteriorate over time. You will require lifelong blood-thinning medicine if you have a mechanical valve in order to prevent blood clots. Your doctor will go over the advantages and disadvantages of each type of valve with you and help you decide which one is best for you.
Both mechanical and biological tissue valves may be utilized in both children and adults. After weighing the risks and benefits, the cardiologist, surgeon, and family decide on the precise valve to be utilized.
Medical professionals with specialized training in congenital heart disorders, such as pediatric and adult congenital cardiologists, must offer lifetime care for children and adults who have undergone surgery for congenital mitral valve anomalies or who have such anomalies. Both adults and children will require routine follow-up visits to check for any changes in their conditions. To replace a valve that is no longer functional, patients might require additional surgeries or valve repairs.