Mitral stenosis is a type of valvular heart disease where the mitral valve opening is narrowed or restricted. The mitral valve separates the left atrium from the left ventricular, and it opens during every heart beat to allow blood to enter the left ventricle. When the mitral valve is narrowed, blood cannot pass through as readily, which leads to a build-up of pressure behind the valve. Most people with mitral stenosis have had rheumatic fever when they were younger.
Patients with mitral stenosis may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or irregular heart rhythms. In severe cases, this can lead to heart failure. Your doctor can diagnose mitral stenosis with an echocardiogram.
Patients who develop symptoms of mitral stenosis are often referred for open heart surgery. The treatment for mitral stenosis is to remove the abnormal valve, and to replace it with a mechanical or tissue valve. Your surgeon will discuss the appropriate valve options with you.