Mitral valve prolapse treatment

The mitral valve separates the left atrium from the left ventricle.  With mitral valve prolapse, the leaflets of the mitral valve are abnormal and bulge back into the left atrium near the end of the heartbeat. Mitral valve prolapse is fairly common in children and often causes no symptoms.


Most children don’t need treatment for mitral valve prolapse. Some need medication to help the heart pump blood out to the body or address an irregular heartbeat. Surgery to repair a leaking mitral valve as a result of prolapse is rare.

Your child’s doctor will likely be alerted to the diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse by hearing a click or murmur when listening to your child’s heart during a routine exam.  An echocardiogram and electrocardiogram will confirm the diagnosis.

An echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to produce images of the heart and blood vessels on a screen. An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a test that checks the heart’s electrical activity.


The board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiologists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute can conduct more extensive tests to distinguish a murmur caused by mitral valve prolapse from those caused by more serious heart conditions.


Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.


The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region. With our network of remote diagnostic and treatment services in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, your child can stay close to home for quality care.


The degree of leakage from the mitral valve will determine how the pediatric cardiologist will want to treat your child’s mitral valve prolapse. If the leakage is mild, the pediatric cardiologist may have your child take a medication that makes it easier for the heart to move blood forward and possibly a diuretic (water pill) that helps remove salt and water from the body.


Your child will have repeat echocardiograms so the pediatric cardiologist can continue to watch how the prolapse and leakage changes over time. In severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the abnormal valve, or even replace the valve if it cannot be repaired.


Why choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is ranked higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program.

  • Norton Children’s Hospital has been a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
  • Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiovascular surgeons are leaders in the field as clinicians and researchers.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to handle a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient centers in Bowling Green, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit is under construction to give our patients the most advanced cardiac intensive care unit available.
  • Our multidisciplinary approach to pediatric heart surgery brings together our specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, cardiac critical care and other areas to create a complete care plan tailored for your child.
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Norton Children’s Heart Institute

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