Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) is a common heart valve abnormality that affects up to 5 percent of the U.S. population. The mitral valve controls the flow of blood from the lungs to the main pumping chamber of the heart. MVP results from a degeneration of valve structure that leads to a regurgitation of blood backwards that can result in heart enlargement and weakening, as well as fatigue and shortness of breath.
Women are twice as likely as men to develop the condition. Children can also be affected. MVP is often asymptomatic and detected during a routine checkup when the physician hears a murmur or clicking sound in the patient’s chest. Most cases are mild and require no treatment, but important steps should be taken when the patient’s case is more serious. The optimal treatment is to repair the damaged mitral valve, although many patients still undergo a replacement with an animal or mechanical valve.
David H. Adams, MD, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is a world leader in the field of heart valve surgery. He and his team have published benchmark papers documenting repair rates of more than 99 percent for degenerative mitral valve disease, which are among the highest in the world.
As Program Director of The Mount Sinai Hospital’s Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center, Dr. Adams leads a team that performs the most operations for MVP in the region, operating weekly on patients from across the United States. Last year, they performed more than 400 mitral valve operations, and are recognized by their peers for their leadership in the field. Dr. Adams and his team coordinate several live mitral surgery courses at Mount Sinai annually, and in 2013 hosted more than 150 surgeons from around the world who came to learn from their experience.
Dr. Adams says the Reference Center’s team approach is the key to its success. “Our teams in the clinic, operating room, intensive care unit, and Cardiothoracic Surgery step-down unit all share equally in the success of this program,” he says. The expertise of Mount Sinai’s imaging teams from the departments of Anesthesiology and Cardiology also contribute to the high level of repair at Mount Sinai.
For more information, visit www.mitralvalverepair.org.