I am 27 years old, in very good physical condition and was just told by my PCP that I have 2 heart valves that are "slightly" leaky. The cardiologist called these leaks "not impressive". This conclusion was reached after I had an echocardiogram. The reason I initially saw my PCP was for what felt like palpatations in my chest and slight chest discomfort. He heard a murmur so I was sent for the echo. I must say this news is fairly worrisome because I am so young and in such good health otherwise. Should I be worried? My PCP tried to reassure me that this is a mild condition and the only thing I need to do as of now, is to have another echo in 1 to 2 years to check on the valves. My questions are: is this something that could go away due to the fact that it is mild, or will I have it forever and could it potentially get worse? How often should I follow up with this? Are there medications I should be taking now, even though my my symptoms aren't bad, to prevent progression? Should I still maintain my exercise routine of running almost every day? Also, do you think I should get a second opinion?
My only experience with a leaky heart valve is the mitral valve between the left Atrial and Ventricle chambers. The strategy that was followed on my leaky valve was to check on it every 2 or 3 years with an echocardiogram. The valve finally got bad enough I had to have heart surgery to have it repaired. I was in my late 60s when the successful operation took place.
I have no idea how long I had a leaky valve, and I believe there is no medication that can be administered to correct the problem. I also believe some people have valve "errors" that never get worse.
In the case of the Mitral valve a leak can put enough back pressure on the Atrial chamber to cause it to enlarge...this is not good, and my first be seen in the development of Atrial Fibrillation.
I am not trying to draw a scary picture, just pointing out the facts as I understand them.
In your case it sounds like you should just put it out of your mind other than to have it checked every few years. You may also want to consult a Cardiologist...I assume you PCP is not a Cardiologist.
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