Ask Me Anything #1: “Are Heart Palpitations a Symptom of Mitral Valve Disease?” Asks Nupur
You asked the questions! I got the answers!
That’s right. Last week, while attending the Mitral Conclave in New York, we received many questions from our community about mitral valve disorders. To answer your questions, I met with several leading surgeons and cardiologists. For example… In this video, Dr. Vinay Badhwar answered Nupur’s question, “Is a heart palpitation a symptom of mitral valve disease?”
Many thanks to Nupur for her question and a special thanks to Dr. Vinay Badhwar for sharing his clinical experience and research with our community.
Keep on tickin!
P.S. For the hearing impaired members of our community, I provided a written transcript of my interview with Dr. Badhwar.
Adam: Hi, everybody! It’s Adam with heartvalvesurgery.com. We’re here at the Mitral Conclave in New York City answering your questions that were submitted at our website. Thrilled to be here with Dr. Vinay Badhwar. We have a question, Dr. Badhwar that came in from Nupur Andrews, and she writes, “Is a palpitation a symptom of mitral valve disease?”
Dr. Vinay Badhwar: Thanks, Adam, and thanks for having me here. Nupur, palpitations are very common in mitral valve disease, particularly in mitral valve prolapse. As you know, from Adam’s good work and your own research, much of our prolapse is an abnormality of excess tissue of the mitral valve and when the tissues come together, one area can prolapse. Particularly when palpitations exist and if shortness of breath accompanies the palpitations, it can be a sign, perhaps, of a flail or a rupture of the chord.
Dr. Vinay Badhwar – Heart Surgeon
Palpitations can commonly happen when there’s exercise or when there’s nothing else at all going on, and/or if there’s any other extra elements like caffeine and other things that can potentiate palpitations. They can usually be ventricular palpitations or it’s called premature ventricular contractions, or PVCs; you may have read about that. Those are different than atrial fibrillation. That’s two different types of palpitations.
I guess I’d summarize the feeling, which is what you really care about, to define which side. PVCs are when you’re feeling fine and your heart pauses or skips a beat and then boom, and you kind of jump. That’s a PVC, very likely.
Atrial fibrillation is when your heart races and it flutters, and it’s not such a big bam. That’s just a subtle finding. Of course this has to be proven with a monitor or an EKG to catch that. Of course if it is either, oftentimes with much mitral valve repair, these feelings go away or improve markedly.
Adam: Well, Nupur, I hope that helped you; I know it helped me. Dr. Badhwar, thanks for all the great work you’re doing with our patients that are coming to you. Thanks so much for being here today.
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.