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leaking valve on the heart and a murmur

(16 Posts)
lilsmum Tue 21-Dec-04 20:33:49

my mum has been having palpatations for some time, mainly when she lies down in bed at night she hears her heart missing a beat. she went to see a private heart specialist today and has said it is a leaking valve and a murmur. she has not been told anything else really until she goes back in jan for more tests. does anyone have any knowledge of this or experience that could shed some light on the outcome and treatment? obviously i am very very worried

mrschristmaswallace Tue 21-Dec-04 20:38:51

sorry i dont but just wanted to say im thinking of you n you're mam

lilsmum Tue 21-Dec-04 20:40:05

thanks mcw, means alot

KristmasBear Tue 21-Dec-04 20:43:22

Sorry, no medical knowledge either but could you google for some info? Try or - Might find the answers you are seeking. It will tell you how this will affect your mum's health and what the treatment will be - rather than waiting weeks.

Good luck and hugs.

Dreams Tue 21-Dec-04 20:52:09

sorry no help here but if you type in heart murmur and leaking valve information in your search engine you will find many sites as i just tried it. I hope you find some info. xx

Santasluckylittlehelper Tue 21-Dec-04 22:30:43

lilsmum - the leaky valve in people of a 'certain age' is usually the mitral valve as it does a lot of work and basically gets worn out. The murmur is the sound the blood makes when it goes through the valve. She will probably have an 'echo' which is an ultrasound of the heart if she hasn't had that already. Initally they treat with medication but would replace the valve if it was very bad. More often there would be other symptoms if it was bad, breathlessness for example. Have a look at The British Heart Foundation site, they have loads of info online or to order. HTH

daisy50 Tue 21-Dec-04 22:34:18

The leaking valve is letting blood flow backwards/in the opposite direction to what it’s supposed to. The murmur is the noise the Dr can hear when they listen over the valve –it’s the sound of turbulent blood flow as it’s flowing backwards. She is likely to be given a scan of her heart so they can see the problem clearly. What they do treatment wise will depend on how severe the problem is as found by the test results combined with how severe her symptoms are and also how her general health is otherwise. If symptoms are mild/test shows mild valve disease maybe she will monitored/followed-up only. Otherwise it is possible they can offer her some medication to improve her heart function and there is also possibility of surgery to replace a valve with an artificial one. For them to consider surgery her valve disease/symptoms would need to be severe enough for them to consider that the benefits of the operation would outweigh any risks of surgery. (All surgery has some risk attached to it and if treatment plan was going down this route the surgeon should explain these to your mother as relative to the specific procedure they wished to carry out). This is also why they need to consider her general health; if she is otherwise in ‘tip-top’ condition and just has a diseased valve then surgery would be less risky than if she is quite poorly or has some other medical problems. Also there are 4 valves in the heart so to some extent it may depend on which one is affected. I suggest that you and your mother make a list of questions/concerns to ask the specialist about at the next appointment (it’s so easy to forget something when there is so much information being fired at you and there is so much going on). Finally just to say there are an awful lot of people out there walking around with heart murmurs, some of them don’t even know it until they have a routine medical examination! Obviously in your mum’s case it is causing her problems but many people have successful treatment of conditions like this. Hope it all works out well for you.

misdee Tue 21-Dec-04 22:38:05

oh lilsmum, . some murmurs are completely innocent and nopthing to wrry about. leaking valves, well pretty much what others have said. dh has a leaking mitral (sp) valve as well as his other probs, but they arent worried about that really. Your mum will have most likely, an echo done, maybe ECG and they may ask her to wear a 24hr holter monitor as well (just a small device to wear over 24 hrs).

Hope your mum gets the support she needs, and try not to worry too much (easier said than done). hugs to you.

noddyholder Tue 21-Dec-04 22:39:22

If the valve is mildly leaking they usually just keep an eye on it She can get meds for the palpitations and that could be it.I was diagnosed with a heart condition several years ago and at the same time was told my mitral valve was slightly leaky but that was the least of my worries according to the docs.Have had scans twice yearly since and in spite of the other heart problem the valve has never become any leakier and has caused no probs

cranberryjampot Tue 21-Dec-04 22:40:26

I have mitral valve prolapse and it was diagnosed in about 1990 when I was 21/22 but apparently I would have been born with it. My cardiologist said that it affected about 10% of women with a narrow rib cage (!) which I did use to have pre-children. As Daisy said many people are walking around with one but completely unaware of it. I have had no medication and was discharged from the hosp in 1993 after the birth of my dd. My initial symptoms were breathlessness and palpitations but coincidentally these began when my mum got a dog, I then noticed that whenever I was around dogs/cats my heart rate increased so in actual fact I wouldnt be surprised if my symptoms were actually brought on by pet allergies rather than the valve problem itself, which became obvious through further tests. I need prophylactic antibiotics for dental work and also childbirth and apart from that no other requirements for me. Hope your mum is ok and you find good support on here

noddyholder Tue 21-Dec-04 22:42:40

Dehydration,stress and caffeine should be avoided with this I think.

cranberryjampot Tue 21-Dec-04 22:43:18

caffeine really affects me Noddy as does garlic sometimes

misdee Tue 21-Dec-04 22:43:23

actually dd2 has amurmur too. its so inoocent i forget aat times. bad mummy!

lilsmum Wed 22-Dec-04 07:52:14

thanks everyone, u are all stars!!! and have put my mind at ease i will print this off and let her read this as i am sure it will put her mind at ease too, thankyou so much


fostermum Wed 22-Dec-04 12:25:04

hi lilsmum,have had the same thing for 8 yrs,so anything you want to ask feel free or email me at

littlemissbossy Wed 22-Dec-04 12:30:35

Sorry to hear about your dm lilsmum, have no experience of heart valve problems, although my Dad has suffered with heart disease that resulted in a heart bypass, so I understand your worry.
The British Heart Foundation website is good for info

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