Does A Heart Valve Heal Itself?

Kenny writes to me, “Hi Adam – My grandma needs open heart surgery, according to my parents. They tell me she has mitral regurgitation and it’s really bad. I’m curious to know, “Can a heart valve heal itself?”. What do you think? Kenny”

I really wish a simple and emphatic ‘Yes!’ would answer Kenny’s question. It would be sooooooooo incredibly wonderful if a heart valve could heal itself – like a cold or a broken bone.

Diagram Of Side Picture Of Heart And Top View Of Heart Valves

Unfortunately, heart valves do not tend to heal themselves. It is true that some infants born with heart murmurs will eventually grow out of the murmur as the heart matures. But, in all of my research, I have yet to hear, read or see a patient story in which a valvular disorder (e.g. aortic valve stenosis, aortic regurgitation, mitral valve regurgitation) naturally heals by itself.

Some might suggest that the use of stem cells could offer a natural process in which a human heart valve can heal itself. However, from my research, that would require a stem cell valve cloning and an open heart procedure to replace the valve. In my opinion, that process doesn’t really sound like a situation in which a human heart valve heals itself.

I hope this helps Kenny (and perhaps you) learn more about the question, “Does a heart valve heal itself?”

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • Terry Riste

    Dear Adam,

    In response to the question regarding whether or not heatl valves can heal themsselves, I have a good story. I was diagnosed with a biscuspid aortic valve several years ago. Last summer I was told that my regurgitation fell into the moderate to severe range. I recently had a floow up Echo and it shows mild to moderate regurgitation. My doctor feels that a combo of medications and a weight loss of 35 pounds could have contributed to this. I was under the impression that this condition would not improve.

    Thanks,

    Terry Riste

  • Gary Jenkins

    My wife has had a heart murmur most of her life. About four years ago a cardiologist done an echo on her and said she had moderate valve leakage, although he tried to play it down after finding out she didn’t have insurance. She can’t buy health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. She also was a stay at home Mom so she can’t can’t get any kind of assistance. Recently the doctor ran another echo and later sent us a letter stating that she had been miraculously healed. In my mind, the doctor didn’t want to treat her because she didn’t have insurance, and therefore told her she no longer had the leaking valves in her heart. The only people that can receive quality health care these days are the ones who have good insurance, politicians, Doctors, and Lawyers. If a Doctor ever tells me that they care whether or not my wife dies, I will call him a liar to his face!

  • Janis

    My husbands Dr. said he has infective endocartitis. He was told it is from his own bacteria in the colon. It entered his blood stream some how?
    How long does it take a heart valve to ruin its self? A month, a year or years?
    Thanks

  • Sandeep

    Below is the 2D echo report of my mother, she is 64 and does not have suger or Blood Pressure problem. I would like to know if she has leaky heart valves. Her doctor said to install a pacemaker, but also said that may or may not benefit her. Please let me know your opinion.

    2D/3D Echo with Doppler
    2 D ECHO
    • Dimensions LV : Dilated
    RV : Dilated
    RA : Dilated
    LA : Dilated

    • LVEF: 15%

    • Severe LV systolic dysfunction

    • Severe global hypokinesia

    • Aortic sclerosis

    • Other cardiac valves are structurally normal

    • No clot/vegetation/effusion.

    DOPPLER

    • Diastolic dysfunction: Grade II
    • Pulmonary artery systolic pressure: 40 mmHg.
    • Moderate to severe MR, Mild AR, Severe TR, No PR.

    IMPRESSION

    • Dilated cardiomyopathy
    • Moderate to severe mitral regurgitation
    • Mild aortic regurgitation
    • Severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction
    • Mild pulmonary hypertension

    2D ECHO ASSESSEMENT FOR VENTRICULAR DYSSYNCHRONY
    • There is no evidence of inter ventricular dyssynchrony (LVPEP is 96 ms).
    • TSI assessment shows:
    • The septal to posterior wall delay is 149 ms.
    • The septal to lateral wall delay is 59 ms.
    • There is evidence of intraventricular dyssynchrony.

  • Nathan cox

    Hello. I really don’t know if anyone will read this but I’m saying it for that 2% of people that will. My name is Nathan and I’m from Mississippi, USA. I am 16 and when I was 2 I was diagnosed with a heart murmur. I had open heart surgery and later on doctors told me I had an aortic leak which I have discovered to be aortic valve regurgitation. I honestly don’t understand fully what the doctors say but in lamen terms they said my body is healing itself. I don’t know if I should believe them or not. But fact of the matter is at the moment I truly believe your body can heal itself in this case. Maybe not completely but you can show improvement.

  • Prose

    My daughter was diagnoses with aortic valve stenosis two years ago. In her tests yesterday, they found that it had resolved itself completely. They did the full tests twice and can not see any indication of stenosis at all. The cardiologist said her aorta looks smaller than normal, but there is no longer stenosis present.

  • Sue Gray Brock

    I had a severe leaky mitral valve that repaired itself. I went to the heart surgeon to make my appointment to have open heart surgery. He said that there was no need to do surgery that the valve had repaired itself.

  • Rachel

    Hi Sue, thank you for posting your amazing story! It’s unbelievable how difficult it is to find information on the Internet regarding heart valves repairing themselves naturally!
    I was diagnosed with Mild Mitral Valve Regurgitation 5 months ago. I have no other diseases and am extremely healthy. When I started to do some research on this condition it scared me so much that I was in tears when I went to speak with my cardiologist. I am a firm believer in that if you give your body the right tools, it can heal itself..but everything I had researched seems to say the complete opposite, that there was no hope. I couldn’t understand how this had happened to me. My cardiologist was the first person to give me a glimmer of hope in telling me that 1 in 5 of his patience he sees with MVR, it does disappear by itself and from my case and history, he thought I had a good chance of the same happening to me. I don’t really have any symptoms except the odd ‘flutter’ feeling sometimes. But whenever I feel a ‘flutter’ I find it disheartening as its like a reminder it may not be healing. Anyway, I will be heading back for another Eco at my 6mth point to see how it’s going and I’ve never prayed so hard that I can get to witness my own little healing miracle as you did. May I ask you, how long had you known of your mitral valve leak before you had to schedule surgery? Just trying to figure out how long something like this could possible take to repair. Also anything that you may have done that aided in your heart valve repairing naturally? Many thanks again for your post, it’s given me hope 🙂

  • Sue Gray Brock

    I was diagnosed 9-2013. I went to the surgeon in January of 2014 to schedule the surgery. The valve had repaired itself within 4 months. I didn’t do anything to aid the healing other than prayer. I prayed as if I was being held at gun point begging for my life. Had my heart not healed on its on I had no other choice than to have the surgery. I was in need of a liver transplant at that time also. They feared the liver would fail if I had the heart surgery and the heat would fail if I had the liver transplant. So I had the trigger cocked at my heart and also at my liver. Something had to heal or the doctors were going to have to take a chance at mylife. So I prayed for my life. Miraculously the heart healed 100 percent and I am no longer in need of a transplant for a liver. Both healed. May god bless you. Unite in prayer with as many people as you can. God does hear you. Ask Jesus to take your prayers to his father. My love to you

  • Rachel

    Wow Sue, that is truly an amazing story! You certainly have purpose on this earth and its your story that has given me hope that it can be done. Im very lucky in the fact that its only mild mitral valve regurgitation, nothing else going on…but its on my mind constantly as to how this begun in the first place. I was diagnosed October 2014, so its been now 5 months since I found out. I am always doing my best to keep positive thoughts in my mind, telling myself that I am healing, that my heart valve is healing..but every now and then i get a ‘flutter’ or skipped beat feeling which is like a reminder that its sadly still there. I am going back for a 6 month Eco (next month) to see if there has been any changes since my diagnosis…I am definitely praying I can observe my own miracle and find out it has healed or at least improved since my last Eco…so fingers crossed! Many thanks for taking the time to reply and for your well wishes. I am so glad to hear that everything worked out in the end for you, you are definitely blessed! All the best Sue! 🙂

  • Christina Leclair Raymond

    While according to my doctor mine healed its self

  • prakasaheibam

    heart valve leakage or regurgitation is curable without surgery …i happen to discover an ancient medicine that cure most of the heart diseases.

  • Lois Harvey

    I need an aortic valve replaced and am told that I do not qualify for the trans catheter procedure because I am not really old, 74 yrs, old, and not in bad enough health. Does the procedure that involves going in between ribs have the same restrictions?
    I do want open heart surgery

  • Olga Yurovski

    Like many others on this thread, I think my heart healed. I was diagnosed with an MVP when I was 22. When I was getting ready to give birth to my first child at 29, I asked my OBGYN whether I needed to be on antibiotics during birth, and thankfully, she decided to send me for a test. The results said my heart was completely healthy.

  • Anna Ryan

    How can I get this information for curing MVR without surgery. Can’t get into the website…..what’s this ancient medicine?

  • prakasaheibam

    The cure of various heart diseases without surgery is all about the ancient Meetei civilization and cure of the Medicine of Lai ( ancestor God) of the civilization. please see the award winning documentary at the link https://vimeo.com/127016050
    https://filmfreeway.com/project/403965

    mail : kangleipak2014@gmail.com
    meeteicivilisation@gmail.com

  • Millie Zuvich Daverso

    I had mild mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid valve regurgitation, all diagnosed when I turned 40. Since then I have been a heavy exerciser and I no longer have any valve leakage. So, it’s possible.

  • Christoph Ziegler

    what was the reason-the medicine that the valve stenosis was getting better?

  • Sheila

    hello, my recent 2D echo says i have a pulmonary regurgitation, is this alarming? what should i be avoiding now? and what should i do?

  • Rahul

    Sue. That’s a fantastic news. I am sorry, i was trying to contact you on Facebook regarding the same. Actually, my father has the exact same condition… And i wanted to know if, along with the prayers, you followed any specific diet and exercise pattern? I would be waiting for your reply Sue.

  • Rahul

    Rachel, Yes! Sue has definitely instilled faith in all of us… I wanted to ask has your condition improved over time?

  • Rachel Whitfield

    Hi Rahul,

    Thanks for your message.

    I am thrilled to say that my valve DID heal itself. I had mild mitral valve regurgitation, and it definitely took a good year and a half to turn it around, but it completely healed and is now back to normal.

    I was seeing an improvement with every eco I would go for every 6 months, and then a couple month ago I got the all clear. My cardiologist also informed me that my tricuspid valve was also leaking (trivial) which I was completely shocked to hear!! But this has also healed along with my mitral valve. He never told me because he knew how worried I was about my mitral valve and with it improving anyway, thought there was no need to further worry me (he’s an amazing cardiologist and most importantly he believed that I could heal this on my own).

    I am extremely health conscious, and when I found out about my value issue (which appress to have happened from straining..possibly during child birth) I also started intermitted fasting to help my body heal. The idea behind this, is that you give your body more hours to heal itself within the 24hr period, rather than using most if its energy in constantly digesting food. Its really easy, costs absolutely nothing and I know was a big help in my recovery. So basically, I eat my meals between the period of 11am until 7pm and outside those hours, only water. If you get a chance to google intermitted fasting the health benefits are wonderful.

    I was also very lucky, as my blood pressure has always been low, so this also allowed my valve to not overwork itself.

    Hope this helps..it was healed without the aid of any medication or surgery.

    I did find it so frustrating and deflating when I first started researching regurgitation and how everywhere on the internet said that healing it was not possible without surgery..Please – never believe this fear garbage that is fed to us…our bodies are amazing and given the right fuel, rest and steady exercise…anything is possible!!

    Wishing you all the very best! 🙂

  • Rahul

    Thank you Rachel.. Your encouraging words came as a comfort to me.. I hope the intermitted fasting helps in case of my father too..

    He has lost some significant amount of weight and i hope that helps him too..

    Thank you once again, Rachel 🙂 Good luck..

  • Sue Gray Brock

    Sorry. I’m not to good at this discussion board. No I did not use any exercise program or special diet. I just prayed a lot. I also had many different faiths praying as well. We are all God children regardless of what we were taught to believe. He loves us and the same. Hopefully this may help you in your journey here on this earth. My love to you and all of your loved ones.

  • Rahul

    Thank you so much for the reply Sue. I have been trying to contact you on Facebook for long. Then i thought commenting here would help.. and i am so glad you replied back..

    And i completely agree with you. No matter which religion we follow, we are his children and he will help us if we are good and need him…. he is there for us all the time…

    My father is a very religious man.. and a very noble soul.. I will convey your message to him.. I am sure it will help 🙂

    I am so happy that you have recovered.. And i hope my father does too 🙂 Thank you for writing back, that’s so gracious of you. God bless you.

  • Sue Gray Brock

    Please tell him in the stillness of the prayers or the mind is where you find God. You may hear him in your own voice or in another tone of voice. The mind has been conditioned to believe in a certain way. We’ve been labeled into believing that only Doctors can heel you but that is not true. Cleanse the flow of the soul by purging all sin and receive forgiveness and forgive others. Then you have the body of Christ within you and that allows God in as well. My love I send to all of you.

  • Sue Gray Brock

    Please don’t get me wrong, please allow the Doctors to do all that they can for you. When they no longer have the ability to heal the body then God will be there to take over.

  • Rahul

    No… what you said, made every sense to me.. You are absolutely right. In stillness and pureness, we find the ability to heal (what we call meditation, right?)…

    With all due respect to the doctors, the modern medical science is like a growing child (talented but still arrogant about knowing it all.. but do they? Nah! There is a supreme power among us).. I am a firm believer that if there is a will, god will be there to help you.. and you can heal yourself… Ofcourse, what doctors are saying should be followed.. but still…

    Your words have been a source of tremendous encouragement for me and my dad (to whom i would be sending this)… Thank you for all the information and love…

    I am so happy to see you recovering from all that and being who you are now 🙂 (I hope my father does recover too)…

    Thank you once again… and God bless you, Sue.. All the love to you too 🙂

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