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MVP with severe regurgitation and left atrium ***********
I was told I had MVP 20 or so years ago and have had minimal symptoms. I am fairly healthy but a month ago began having chest pain and tightness, fatigue, and shortness of breath. My primary care dr consulted with a cardiologist after discovering in an echocardiogram that I have severe regurgitation and enlarged left atrium. They ordered no work and that I would need surgery.
The cardiologist I was referred to did not seem to be concerned with my current state. He is having me do a TEE but said I shouldn't be concerned about working and exerting myself and wasn't thinking surgery was a definite option.
I am now so anxious and not sure what to think. Do I listen to my primary care dr and the consulting cardiologist and not work or exert myself or do I listen to the other cardiologist and go about life as usual? Problem is my symptoms have become so debilitating.
Has anyone else experienced such severe symptoms? Should I be trying to go back to work? Do I pursue a surgical consult?
Thank you for your time and support. I am glad to have found this resource.
AHAASAKatie, November 30, 2020 9:07am EST
Good morning, thank you for sharing what is happening in your world. I can provide the information we have on Mitral Valve Prolapse with you. It sounds like you have a few big decisions to make. My thought is that talking to the surgeon is the best next step. There is nothing to say that you HAVE to have the surgery. But if they think it is necessary then you have another piece of the puzzle. We have an active heart valve community and I do look forward to reading other responses to your post. Thanks Katie
AmbassadorDN, December 2, 2020 6:04pm EST
I have been in the same situation as you. I was diagnosed with a defective mitral valve at birth, and I was told that I wouldn't need surgery until I would be about 60. I was 30 when my mitral valve started failing spectacularly back in 2006, and my cardiologist was surprised. One day I was in his office for my yearly check-up and he was telling me that my valve would stay steadily leaking indefinitely, and a few weeks later I was being rushed to the hospital from work with severe shortness of breath. There is so much more to my story, but this is the simplest I can make it; and long story short, I ended up having my valve repaired two months after that trip to the hospital.
Here is what I learned: Cardiologists tend to be very conservative when it comes to assessing heart valves. On the other hand, surgeons want to get in and repair or replace valves before damage is done to the heart and before heart failure sets in and possibly causes irreperable damage to a person's heart function. My advice to you is to consult with a surgeon as soon as you can. Get copies of your test(s) and have the surgeon take a look. If I had listened to my cardiologist who had told me back then in '06 that I wouldn't need surgery right away (by the way, he was on the fence about surgery even after my trip to the ER), I would be in bad shape. I'm not trying to scare you, but rather I advise that you advocate for yourself and get an official opinion from a cardiothroracic surgeon. If the surgeon says you are not ready for surgery, then let him or her make that determination.
You are symptomatic, and that is a big indicator that you should be considering surgery to address your valve. I felt so much better after my heart valve repair. If your valve is affecting your daily life and preventing you even from working, then don't delay and get a surgeon's consultation as soon as you can.
Please feel free to ask if you have any other questions or concerns.
To Heart and Soul Health,