“Mitral Valve Prolapse Diagram… Do You Have One?” Asks Tanya
By Adam Pick on February 20, 2009
I could be wrong but I think the cliche goes something like, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” While I’m not a fan of cliches, I am a fan of this one – especially when it comes to understanding heart valve surgery.
Before my surgery, seeing pictures and diagrams helped me digest (i) my diagnosis and (ii) my need for aortic valve surgery. I’ve always been a visual person but understanding the structural problems of aortic stenosis was very helpful.
That’s why I really appreciate the email I just received from Tanya. She writes, “Hi Adam – My dad is scheduled for mitral valve prolapse surgery on Tuesday. I think I understand what the problem is. He’s had valve regurgitation symptoms for years. But, I was curious to know if you had any diagrams that show the physical defect of a mitral valve prolapse?”
I guess Tanya and I are somewhat similar – seeing things helps. With that said, here are two pictures which illustrate the challenges when mitral leaflets do not open-and-close properly. The first diagram shows a side-view of the heart and mitral valve prolapse.
Here, in the second diagram, you can see a top-down view of a mitral valve prolapse:
Considering the two pictures above… I guess, according to the cliche, I just saved myself 2,000 words. Phew!
Keep on tickin!