Mitral Valve Prolapse

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Most cases of mitral valve prolapse (MVP) aren’t serious, and just need observation. There are treatment options available if it worsens or the symptoms are becoming too limiting.

Treating Mitral Valve Prolapse at UVA Health


Symptoms like chest pain can be treated with medication. It’s also a good idea to start taking antibiotics before dental and other medical procedures to avoid infections.

Some of the medications your doctor may prescribe to lower blood pressure and improve symptoms are:

  • Beta blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Blood thinners


If your mitral valve prolapse is severe or symptoms persist, then surgery may be needed. A mitral valve repair is the most common procedure done for prolapse. At UVA Health, we’ve been able to repair 90-95% of mitral valves damaged by degenerative diseases.

What Is Mitral Valve Prolapse?

The mitral valve controls blood flow in the left side of the heart. Blood flows from the upper chamber into the lower chamber. When part of the mitral valve balloons out, or prolapses, it can cause the blood to flow incorrectly or leak.

    What Does Mitral Valve Prolapse Feel Like?

    Most people with MVP have no symptoms. When symptoms do come on they can include:

    • Fatigue
    • Chest Pain
    • Panic attacks
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Shortness of breath
    • Lightheadedness

    What Makes You at Risk for MVP?

    We still don’t know exactly what causes a mitral valve prolapse. But these factors do seem to be associated with an increased risk.

    • Family history
    • Being female
    • Aged 14-30
    • Scoliosis
    • Being thin
    • Low blood pressure
    • Chest wall deformities
    • Marfan syndrome
    • Vascular Ehler-Danlos syndrome (formerly called type IV)
    • Grave’s disease
    • Ebstein’s anomaly

    How Is Mitral Valve Prolapse Diagnosed?

    As part of a physical exam, your doctor will listen to your chest with a stethoscope. They may hear a murmur or a clicking sound from the valve moving backwards.

    From there, they’ll order several tests to confirm the diagnosis.