Mitral Valve Prolapse
Mitral valve prolapse, or MVP, is a condition in which the valve between the heart's left upper chamber and the left lower chamber does not close properly. The flaps of the mitral valve bulge into the left atrium every time the heart contracts, keeping the valve from closing tightly. If blood leaks backward through the valve, it is called mitral valve regurgitation. If only a small amount leaks, it likely will not cause problems, but if it is severe, it may require treatment. Listening to it through a stethoscope, MVP often produces a clicking sound as the valve's flaps billow out, followed by a murmur as blood flows back into the chamber. Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms.
The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Program is the oldest and largest program of its kind in Alabama. It provides ongoing care – sometimes for life – to patients who have or are at risk for structural heart and valve disease. Our experienced surgeons and cardiologists take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating this condition, and their expertise ranges from traditional open-heart surgery to robotic-assisted valve repair and the latest in minimally invasive surgical techniques, which require only small incisions (cuts).
The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Clinic has achieved several important milestones in the past decade. In 2012, we performed the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in Alabama, and UAB has performed more TAVR procedures than any other hospital in the state. As an added service, patients who have been told by non-UAB doctors that they need valve surgery can speak to a UAB structural heart and valve surgeon for a second opinion.
When Sarah Ford found out she needed heart surgery, she made the drive from her home in Dothan to Birmingham to receive treatment at UAB. The experienced surgeons, compassionate staff, and cutting-edge care at UAB made her feel secure and safe.
Heart valve disease affects patients of all ages, but there are effective treatments and lifestyle changes you can make to improve your condition.
Heart Valve Disease
The heart has four valves that are responsible for keeping blood moving through its chambers and around the body. James Davies, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at UAB, talks to Daytime Alabama on WVTM-TV, Channel 13, in Birmingham, Ala., about how valve disease can be prevented, detected, and treated.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for mitral valve prolapse. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials