Valve Regurgitation

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Heart Valve Regurgitation expert Mark Vesely, MD, sits with his laptopRegurgitation refers to leaky heart valves (mitral or aortic) that allow some backward blood flow.

When the condition is minor, it may not require treatment. But intervention is often necessary when the heart is straining to replace the trapped blood and keep up with demand.

These leaky valves most commonly occur in the mitral valve.

Learn more about our services by downloading our Heart Valve Patient Guide.

What is Mitral Valve Regurgitation?

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Mitral leaking results from the valve failing to close properly, with some of the blood meant for the heart’s left ventricle instead pooling in the left atrium. Mitral regurgitation (MR) is the most common heart valve problem, with two types:

  • Functional: Other heart problems cause the heart’s lower left chamber (ventricle) to swell. That interferes with the valve’s frame (annulus) and/or its flaps (leaflets), which are otherwise intact. Functional regurgitation is also called secondary regurgitation.
  • Degenerative: Also called floppy valve syndrome, degenerative mitral valve (DMV) disease involves structural changes to the valve’s flaps (leaflets), frame (annulus) and/or tissue strings (chordae) holding it in place. This weakens the valve.