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Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) occurs when the two leaflets — flap-like doors — of the heart's mitral valve fail to form a tight seal. The mitral valve controls blood flow between the upper and lower chambers of the heart's left side, and a tight seal is key for keeping blood moving in the right direction.

A healthy mitral valve keeps a tight seal by opening and closing quickly and completely. But sometimes factors like age, genetics or anatomical differences cause the mitral valve to loosen or bulge a bit, which doctors call "prolapse." When prolapse occurs, the mitral valve may allow some blood to move back into the lungs.

Our Approach to Mitral Valve Prolapse

At UCSF, patients with mitral valve prolapse are treated by a team of specialists in heart valve problems, including interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons. We offer the full range of treatments, from medications to minimally invasive surgery to repair or replace the valve. Compared with traditional open heart surgery, minimally invasive procedures have many benefits for patients, including faster recovery, less postoperative pain and minimal scarring.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • One of the nation’s best in cardiology & heart surgery

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.