The mitral valve is positioned on the left side of a person’s heart with the atrium located above the valve and the ventricle situated below the valve. Blood flows through the mitral valve and stenosis occurs when the valve becomes too constricted. When this happens, the proper amount of blood is unable to travel through the valve.
This can cause individuals to have various health issues and if the condition gets bad enough, heart failure can occur. Individuals who had rheumatic fever when they were children often develop Mitral Valve Stenosis due to the effects of the disease on the heart. Babies who are born with congenital heart defects may also be afflicted with this condition. Other causes include calcium deposits, blood clots and tumors.
Some people who have mitral valve stenosis will not have any symptoms unless they are engaging in strenuous physical activity. The average age for individuals to start having symptoms is when a person is between 20 and 50 years old.
Coughing, problems breathing, tiredness, swollen ankles and feet, pulsating heart beat and repeated respiratory issues.
Babies who are born with this condition may also show various signs and these symptoms will begin by the time the child reaches two years of age. Parents should watch for coughs, lack of appetite, slowness in growth, sweating when eating and breathing issues.
Some individuals who have a mild form of this condition will not need any treatment unless they start having severe symptoms.
Regular doctor visits are important to keep a close watch on the progression of this type of disorder. If necessary, surgery can be performed to make repairs to the faulty mitral valve or replace it completely. Common surgeries to repair the valve are a balloon valvotomy, to expand the valve or a commissurotomy, which is performed to take off scar tissue and calcium deposits that have formed on the valve. Individuals who need a new valve will undergo surgery for a mitral valve replacement.