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Mitral Valve Prolapse

To understand mitral valve prolapse, it is helpful to know how the heart works to supply your body with blood. The heart is made up of four chambers. The top two chambers are called the right and left atria, and the lower two chambers are the right and left ventricles. The ventricles work to pump the blood. The separation between the atria and the ventricles contain valves which allow for the blood to flow in the right direction.

Blood coming from your body returns through the right atrium, through the tricuspid valve and into the right ventricle, which pumps it into your lungs to become oxygenated. The process is the reverse on the left side as oxygenated blood coming from the lungs enters the left atria, through the mitral valve and into the left ventricle, which pumps it throughout your body.

Mitral valve prolapse (sometimes abbreviated "MVP") occurs when the mitral valve is unable to close properly. This can result in regurgitation, or the leaking of blood backwards through the valve. Many people with MVP are symptom free; however, some require surgery to fix or replace the defective valve.

Our surgeons who treat this condition

This information is provided by the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. It is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.


CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue

Room: 6111

Aurora, CO 80045


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