The Mitraclip Procedure
What is the MitraClip option?
MitraClip is a non-surgical and minimally invasive treatment option for patients with severely leaky mitral valve (mitral valve regurgitation) who are considered too high risk for traditional open-heart surgery procedures. Benefits include a shorter recovery time, minimally invasive procedure, significantly less pain compared to open heart surgery, improvement in quality of life and symptoms, and reduction in hospitalization for congestive heart failure and potentially life-saving option for high risk patients.
What is Mitral Valve Regurgitation?
Mitral regurgitation (MR) is a common heart valve disorder that causes blood to leak backwards through the heart’s mitral valve. Mitral valve prolapse or myxomatous mitral valve disease is a common cause of MR. It causes the mitral leaflet(s) (the flaps inside the valve that open and close to let blood through) to become stretchy or floppy and they do not close tightly, leading to leakage of blood or MR. If severe leakage occurs with symptoms such as shortness of breath and signs of congestive heart failure, heart surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve is the best treatment option. Surgery is too risky for some patients however.
If I have a severely leaky mitral valve, what should I do next?
To see if you are a possible candidate for treatment with the MitraClip, you will have a comprehensive assessment by a multidisciplinary team at Prairie Heart Institute including a cardiologist, cardiac surgeon and anesthesiologist. You will have a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) and transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) to determine whether treatment with MitraClip is possible. The team will focus on how well your condition has been managed with medications, whether you are a candidate for conventional surgery and if you would benefit from treatment with the MitraClip.
Prairie Heart Institute at HSHS St. Johns Hospital is the first (and only) hospital to perform and offer the MitraClip procedure in Illinois outside of the Chicago metropolitan area.
What happens during the MitraClip Procedure?
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. It involves implanting one or more clips on the mitral valve in the area of the leakage, without surgery by means of a catheter inserted through the vein in the groin. Once the clip is in place it will become a permanent part of your heart, allowing your mitral valve to close more tightly and reduce the backward flow of blood.