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is a condition that makes your mitral valve narrow and stiff. The mitral valve is between the left atrium and the left ventricle of your heart. The valve opens and closes to direct blood flow through your heart. With mitral stenosis, your valve may not open or close properly. This causes strain on your heart muscle and decreases blood flow to your body.
You may not have any symptoms, if your mitral stenosis is mild. You may have any of the following:
- Shortness of breath during activity or when you lie down
- Severe tiredness
- Swollen feet or ankles
- Fast, jumpy, or fluttery heartbeat
- Coughing up bloody tinged mucus
- Dizziness or fainting
- Headache and stroke symptoms
Call 911 or have someone else call if:
- You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Numbness or drooping on one side of your face
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
- You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest
- and any of the following:
- Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your symptoms get worse.
Contact your cardiologist or healthcare provider if:
- The veins in your neck look swollen or are bulging.
- You have a fever.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Treatment for mitral stenosis
depends on how severe your symptoms are. If you do not have symptoms, your healthcare provider will do tests regularly. You may need medicines to treat your symptoms of extra fluid, arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), and blood clots. You may also need any of the following if your symptoms become worse:
- Balloon valvuloplasty helps widen your mitral valve and allow blood to flow through easier. It is also called a closed valvotomy. A catheter with a balloon on the tip is inserted through a small incision in your arm or groin. The catheter is guided through a blood vessel and into your left atrium near your mitral valve. When the balloon is inflated, it stretches the valve opening.
- Commissurotomy is open heart surgery to fix your mitral valve. It is done if valvuloplasty does not correct your valve. During a commissurotomy, your surgeon will remove calcium buildup and scar tissue from your valve.
- Valve replacement is a surgery to remove part or all of your mitral valve. A new valve is then secured in place. The new valve may be from a donor (another person or animal), or may be an artificial valve. There are 2 different approaches for valve replacement. The first is an open heart procedure. The second is a procedure that replaces the valve through a catheter guided into a vessel in your groin. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about which approach is right for you.
Manage your symptoms:
- Eat heart healthy foods. Eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables every day. Limit salt and high-fat foods. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on a heart healthy diet.
- Take care of your teeth and gums. Gingivitis, a gum disease, increases your risk for aortic stenosis. See your dental provider regularly to treat problems early.
- Exercise as directed. Exercise will improve your heart health. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Start slowly and increase activity as you get stronger. Stop if you feel short of breath.
- Limit caffeine. Caffeine can make irregular heartbeats worse. Ask your healthcare provider about eating or drinking anything that contains caffeine. Ask him or her how much caffeine is safe for you.
- Limit alcohol. Ask your cardiologist if it is safe for you to drink alcohol. Alcohol can increase your symptoms.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about pregnancy. If you are a woman and want to get pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider. You and your baby may need to be monitored by specialists during your pregnancy.
Follow up with your healthcare provider or cardiologist as directed:
You may need to return for more tests to check your heart. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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