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British Heart Foundation
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Mitral Valve Problem

First time poster.

Two years ago I was diagnosed with " prolapse of the posterior leaflet with a moderate jet of mitral regurgitation"

Prior to a shoulder operation recently I was given another echocardiogram as the doctor was concerned when he listened through his stethoscope.

After the echo I was told that I now had " prolapse of the posterior leaflet with a moderate to SEVERE jet of mitral regurgitation"

I've had copies of the reports but can't really understand the numbers detailed.

The GP has now referred me to a cardiology consultant but I've been told that the waiting time for the appointment will be 4/6 months.

Is this condition something that anyone has experience of as I'm sure my symptoms of shortness of breath are gradually becoming worse.

I would very much appreciate any advice or feedback on this.

Thank you


10 Replies

Hi. I had a prolapsed mitral valve with very severe leak and prolapse of the Anterior leaflet (the more difficult one to repair) @A2 with very severe regurgitation and complex jet. With ruptured tendonie chordeal plus a hole in heart found during tests.

Strangely my heart was able to compensate for the severe leaking and I did not have symptoms that I noticed.

Much to the shock of doctors!! 😷

I also took part in a medical study and research due to this.

I have had open heart surgery in Feb 18

All is now repaired.

If u would like any help or advice message me happy to help or advise


1 like

Thank you so much for your reply. It's very informative and helpful.

Thanks once again.



Hi David, I also have moderate to severe regurgitation (mine is anterior leaflet - I believe yours is easier to repair). It was moderate for many years and received scans every 12 months to keep an eye on things. My last scan, earlier this year, revealed it had progressed to moderate/severe and therefore borderline for surgery, however as I had symptoms of breathlessness etc he said it would only get worse and referred me for surgery. I am now waiting to see a surgeon to discuss how and when this surgery may take place.

Your waiting time of 4-6 months does seem a long time and perhaps your GP could chase this and bring it forward due to your symptoms.

Please feel free to message me if you would like any more info :)


Thank you so much for your reply. It's very informative and helpful and I think I'll take up your advice with regard to the GP.

Thanks once again.


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I was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation two months ago after I went to the GP with breathlessness. The GP put me on Furosemide ( a water tablet) as she correctly diagnosed that my irregular heart beat was not clearing the fluid from my lungs causing the breathlessness. Amazingly my breathlessness disappeared in three days. Also now On Bisoprolol which regulates my heart whilst I await surgery ( probably in 3/4 months). Hope this helps.


Thanks very much for your reply. I was diagnosed with Prinzmetal Angine several years and have been on bisoprolol ever since. I particularly noticed the shortness of breath worsening as I sing in a choir.

Once again many thanks for taking the time to reply to me.


Is there anything u want to know more about the condition or possible way treatment will go?


Thanks for offer. I've managed to get the reports from the echocardiogram. I can't really understand all the numbers that are detailed but there appears to be significant difference from two years ago. As an example something on the Mitral Valve called the Vena Contracta was 0.43cm on the first echo but is now 0.67cm on the recent one. Also something detailed as FS which I understand is fractional shortening was 40.1% and is now 26.4%. All the other numbers follow a similar pattern of variation. I'd like to know if this is an acceptable variation over 2 years ie: fairly gradual or is it getting worse more quickly? Sorry this sounds a bit jumbled as I've read it back. I hope you can get the "drift" of what I mean?

Kind regards



Hi the vena contracta is talking with regards the jet of blood that flows backwards the wrong way with every cardiac cycle the measurement is the width of the jet at it narrowest point usually where it is forced through the leaking part of the prolapsed valve.

As I mentioned I had a complex jet I can't remember my figures, that was hitting the wall of my heart causing a lot of turbulence in blood flow causing a very loud murmur.

The other figures I believe are talking about your ejection fraction which is the volume of blood moved with each beat of the heart. Nobody even a healthy person is 100% believe normal is between 50%-60%

Its calculated using the measurement of the left Ventricule and how much it contracts during systole(beat)

The problem with us is that the heart due to the leak has to work a lot harder to move the same amount of blood so the heart muscles actually get bigger the down side is that makes the heart stiffer and the ventricle space smaller.

Obviously lowering the volume of blood it can hold.

This may be why u have shortness of breath because the heart will struggle to remove excess fluid from Lungs and extremities (u may get swollen ankles and difficult breathing laying flat)

Because of the lowered volume u will have shortness of breath during physical activity because again it will struggle to get oxygenated blood to the muscles that demand it.

I was unlucky that I had very severe leaking Mitral valve and severe regurgitation.

But lucky my heart had started to remodel and I had very few symptoms.

It adapted and compensated for the problem.

Although it was still damaging my heart muscle.

Not sure how how quickly the figures should change or what is acceptable change.

It varies from person to person.

I do know my consultant said it could change overnight almost so I could of gone from very few symptoms to being debilitated very quickly.

I agree with one of the other comments get your GP to speed up your consultation.

I understand from the heart research I took part in that the way of thinking with Mitral valve prolapse and leaks is that surgery should take place sooner rather than later.

After my results from my echo probably August last year. I had lots of tests and scans then open heart surgery in Feb this year. My surgeon classed my case as Urgent but not an emergency.


Thanks once again. Your message was very informative and detaled.

Kind regards



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