Is a Leaky Heart Valve Dangerous?

A leaky heart valve can be dangerous, although it is not always cause for concern; some people with a leaky mitral valve do not even require treatment, notes WebMD. The standard approach to treating a leaky heart valve is to observe it over time. Unless the leaky heart valve causes significant heart failure, daily medication for the condition is generally not recommended.

Surgery to repair the leaky mitral valve or implanting an artificial valve can be beneficial for certain people. It can be difficult to decide when to surgically repair the valve, since mitral regurgitation is a progressive condition, notes WebMD.

When the valve in question is a tricuspid valve, treatment is usually not necessary. The leaking valve may be discovered by accident, and it usually presents no problems or typically requires no follow-up evaluation. More severe regurgitation from the tricuspid valve may be a result of high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery, a condition known as pulmonary hypertension. This type of high blood pressure is generally caused by congestive heart failure, according to WebMD.

Surgery to repair the tricuspid valve is possible, although replacement is usually not recommended. Replacement of the tricuspid valve is rarely recommended, notes WebMD.