Watchful Monitoring and Medications
Typically treatment is needed for symptomatic or severe mitral stenosis. In some cases, treatment can be deferred with close monitoring.
Medical treatment may be needed to prevent an increased heart rate, which will worsen symptoms. Other medications such as diuretics to relieve fluid accumulation in your lungs or anticoagulants to prevent blood clots from developing may also be needed.
Patients with mitral stenosis may develop atrial fibrillation and drugs may be prescribed to treat this condition. Patients with mitral stenosis and atrial fibrillation are at even higher risk for suffering a stroke than patients with other causes of atrial fibrillation.
Medical therapy can be very effective for treatment of symptoms, but at some point, mechanical treatment for relief of stenosis may be necessary.
This less invasive approach than surgery is often the preferred treatment for patients with mitral valve stenosis. Balloon valvuloplasties are performed by interventional cardiologists. The doctor guides a flexible catheter (a thin tube) with a balloon at its tip through a very small incision in the groin into the heart. The balloon is inflated inside the narrowed valve, opening it and improving blood flow. The catheter is then removed. Balloon valvuloplasty is often as successful as surgery depending on the structure of the mitral valve.