Depending upon the severity of your mitral valve stenosis, your doctor will suggest that you follow one or more of the following treatment approaches.
To reduce heart failure symptoms and lung congestion resulting from you mitral valve stenosis, your doctor may suggest that you reduce the amount of salt and alcohol you consume, quit smoking, lose weight, and in some cases, avoid strenuous activity. Your doctor will also monitor the progression of your condition.
Your doctor may prescribe diuretics to help relieve lung congestion. He may also prescribe medications that will help treat your risk of heart failure (e.g. beta blockers, calcium channel blockers), clotting (e.g. aspirin), arrhythmias (e.g., beta blockers) or atrial fibrillation (e.g., warfarin). Occasionally, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to reduce infection risk before dental or medical procedures.
When lifestyle changes and medications are not enough to prevent irreversible heart damage and other complications due to stenosis, your doctor will likely recommend surgery. There are several approaches that are used to treat mitral valve stenosis including:
- Guiding a balloon-tipped catheter into the mitral valve and gently inflating it to force open the valve and improve blood flow (balloon valvotomy or valvuloplasty, usually for milder stenosis with no regurgitation or calcification)
- Using a minimally invasive technique to separate fused leaflets, create better openings, remove calcium or other obstructions, or make other valve changes (surgical valvuloplasty and other mitral repairs, usually for those with moderate to severe symptoms)
- Fixing stenotic valve disease at the same time as other cardiac problems (eg, atrial fibrillation or arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, tricuspid valve disease, heart failure or cardiac tumors)
- Customizing complex repair procedures for severe disease, high-risk patients, re-repairs—often avoiding the need for valve replacement
- When needed, a new mechanical or tissue (from pig, cow, or human donor) valve replacement can be done