Baptist Health Lexington: New Mitral Valve Heart Procedure
Paula Hollingsworth, MD, explains how the Mitraclip® is used to repair leaking valves in heart patients who may not be able to undergo traditional surgery.
New Mitral Valve Heart Procedure Health Talks Transcript
Paula Hollingsworth, MD, Cardiovascular Diseases
There are so many people out there who have mitral regurgitation, and they have been told that they’re not good candidates for surgery. The candidates for a Mitraclip® right now are people with degenerative mitral disease, shortness of breath, and they’re fatigued. They also have more admissions to the hospital for heart failure. There’s no age limit, but you do need to be deemed at high risk for the conventional surgical techniques, and if the abnormality is suitable for the clip, we can clip the edges of the abnormality together, and make the leakage essentially all but go away. A Mitraclip is a little clip designed to pull the anterior and posterior leaflets of the mitral valve together to prevent the mitral valve from leaking. The Mitraclip is placed what we call percutaneously. It’s like a heart cath where we go in through the leg, except, instead of going through the artery, we go through the vein, so it’s much safer than an arterial procedure. We go through the vein with a sheath that’s large enough to contain the Mitraclip. We go to the level of the heart, go through the right atrium, over to the left atrium, and then literally point the clip downward through the mitral valve leaflets. We place it through the leaflets, gently pull up, and the leaflets land right on top of the clip and, in that point in time, we close the clip. The Mitraclip actually reduces hospitalizations for heart failure, and people feel better. They feel like they can do more; they’re less short of breath; they’re able to just have a better lifestyle. Their quality of life actually improves.