DR. PHILLIP C. WATKINS’ INTEREST in mitral valve prolapse treatment dates back to 1973 when he and his colleagues noticed patients prone to symptoms including anxiety, dizziness and fainting. They developed an innovative, comprehensive approach to this condition which was called mitral valve prolapse, now known as dysautonomia.
About the Autonomic Disorders/MVP Center of Alabama
Dr. Watkins founded The Mitral Valve Prolapse Center of Alabama in 1987. The Center has been housed on what is now the Trinity Medical Center campus for the past 26 years. Dr. Susan Phillips and Dr. Paula Moore have been with Dr. Watkins for more than 16 years.
The Center sees patients with dysautonomia, a common disorder of the autonomic nervous system and mitral valve prolapse. The ANS regulates all the automatic functions of the body. Dysautonomia patients often have low blood pressure, rapid irregular heartbeats, chest pain, palpitations, fatigue, sleep disorders, mood swings, spells of dizziness, fainting, irritable bowel syndrome, problems with memory and concentration. Mitral valve prolapse alone does not cause these symptoms, usually dysautonomia is also present.
The practice sees patients and referrals from throughout the country ages 14 to 55. This is one of only a few centers in the United States devoted full time to the diagnosis and treatment of this disorder.
Goals of the Autonomic Disorders/MVP Center
- Educate patients, family and the general public as to the nature of dysautonomia / mitral valve prolapse and its symptoms.
- Help patients make healthy lifestyle modifications, which will stabilize their symptoms.
- Prescribe the proper medication when needed.
- Provide group support sessions for patients with similar problems for the exchange of information and emotional support.
- Conduct meaningful research into various treatment regiments for dysautonomia / mitral valve prolapse to provide helpful information to the medical profession and to enable them to deal more effectively with the patients who have dysautonomia / mitral valve prolapse syndrome.