Valve regurgitation is the name for leaking heart valves. Sometimes the condition is minor and may not require treatment, but other times it places a strain on the heart. Regurgitation can cause the heart to work harder to pump the same amount of blood.
Regurgitation occurs when blood flows back through the valve as the leaflets are closing, or when blood leaks through the leaflets when they should be completely closed.
Valve regurgitation can come on suddenly or it may develop gradually over a long period of time. There are several different types of regurgitation pertaining to specific valves, including mitral regurgitation, aortic valve regurgitation, pulmonary regurgitation, and tricuspid regurgitation.
Based on the severity of the problem, leaking valves may require surgical repair or replacement.
Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the legs and feet
- Heart murmur