Is surgery necessary for mitral valve leak?

Q. Does my mom need a surgery for mitral valve leak?

Answered by
Dr. Mandurke Vivek Maroti
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 29, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jun 01, 2023

Hi doctor,

My mom is 46 years old. She recently had her routine physical examinations and they found out her mitral valve could not close fully, but very light degree. The doctor there thinks that she does not need a surgery and he did not mention anything else. So, I really want a second opinion on this. Does she need a surgery? What should she do now to improve her health?



Welcome to

From your short descriptions, I understood that there is a leak in the mitral valve. Yes, mild to moderate leak can be managed with medicine, but if severe leak is there, then at some stage operation is required. I can guide you more if you send echo report and more history.

Thank you doctor,

As she is in another country now, I managed to send you the vital information about the echo report. Hopefully that will be sufficient for you to diagnose. Thank you.



Welcome back to

If you have video, then it will be more useful. Anyway, from the report you conveyed it shows that one heart chamber has enlarged much in size and the leak is moderate. She needs to be on medication. If there is any breathing difficulty, which is difficult to control with medicine, then she needs surgery. Otherwise, every 6 to 12 monthly echo should be done to monitor heart leakage and other parameters of she is well on medicine. We can decrease the progression with medication.

Thank you doctor,

What medicine should she take? Can medication cure her condition? Are you sure that she will need to get the surgery one day?



Welcome back to

Do not get panic. Nowadays, science is much advanced. We advice ACE inhibitor to reduce load on the heart. It can push surgery a few more years if the patient is comfortable on medicine. But, if the patient is not well on medicine and heart function deteriorates, then surgery is a must. Anyway, if surgery done in proper time, then it has very good result. She is young and has a long life ahead. So, do not worry. Just keep a good follow up and she will be fine. As per your history, she is not having many complaints now. But, need to monitor closely and continue healthy lifestyle.

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