Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair - MitraClip

What is Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR – MitraClip)?

TMVR or MitraClip procedure is a less invasive treatment option for patients with Mitral Regurgitation. 

What is Mitral Regurgitation?

Mitral regurgitation occurs when the mitral valve’s two leaflets (or flaps) do not close completely, allowing blood to flow backward through the valve into the left atrium. Degenerative mitral regurgitation (also called primary or organic) can be related to age, a birth defect, or underlying heart disease. 

What are treatment options for Mitral Regurgitation?

Treatment for degenerative mitral regurgitation depends on how severe it is and how sick the patient is. The cardiologist may prescribe medications that reduce symptoms, such as diuretics for fluid buildup in the lungs. However, these medications only treat the symptoms and do not address the underlying problem with the mitral valve that is causing the disease.

Degenerative mitral regurgitation itself can only be treated in two ways: mitral valve surgery or transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR)

What is TMVR?

TMVR is a minimally invasive procedure that may be an option for patients with degenerative mitral regurgitation who are too sick for surgery. Unlike surgery, this procedure does not require opening the chest and temporarily stopping the heart. Instead, doctors access your heart through a vein in your leg to repair your mitral valve. MitraClip therapy is the only TMVR option to treat mitral regurgitation.

What is the MitraClip?

The MitraClip device is a small metal clip covered with a polyester fabric that is implanted on your mitral valve. The clip is inserted through a catheter, without the need to temporarily stop your heart.

The MitraClip device treats mitral regurgitation by clipping together a small area of the mitral valve. The valve continues to open and close on either side of the clip. This allows blood to flow on both sides of the clip while reducing the flow of blood in the wrong direction. 

Who is a good candidate for this type of valve surgery?

A patient will be evaluated by a specially trained heart team, including a cardiac surgeon and a cardiologist; they will review the patient’s medical history and perform a variety of tests. There are several factors they will take into consideration when deciding whether or not the patient is too sick for open heart surgery, and therefore a possible candidate for MitraClip therapy, such as the patient’s age, frailty, and the condition of their heart.

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