MitraClip: New Procedure Helps Repairs Hearts

For years, the solution to mitral regurgitation (MR) has been open heart surgery. Those who aren’t good surgical candidates—often because their heart is too weak or damaged—often end up simply living with the debilitating symptoms of heart failure.

An estimated 4 million people in the United States have significant MR, and there are no medications that specifically treat or cure the condition. When the mitral valve does not close properly, blood leaks back (regurgitates) into the upper chamber of the heart. This can cause the heart to pump harder, which may lead to congestive heart failure.

At Providence St. Jude Medical Center there is another option: The FDA-approved MitraClip device offers a new treatment for patients with MR who are not viable candidates for surgery. The MitraClip, the world’s first transcatheter mitral valve repair therapy, reduces regurgitation by tightening the mitral valve’s seal.

Other benefits demonstrated by this procedure include:

  • Patients who are treated with the MitraClip procedure tend to recover quicker, with less pain and discomfort, than patients who receive surgical treatment.
  • Patients are usually able to leave the hospital the next day and resume normal daily activities within 24-48 hours of the procedure.
  • Symptoms, such as shortness of breath and low pressure, have improved.
  • Hospitalizations for heart failure have been reduced.

Before MitraClip, the standard therapy for MR was open heart surgery, which requires using a heart-lung machine and stopping the heart to repair or replace the valve. The MitraClip procedure, however, is less complex and less invasive.