MitraClip Procedure a New Option for Heart Valve Surgery

By Diana Lomont, Editorial Contributor

Patients with the most common type of heart valve disease now have a minimally invasive option available to them at Orlando Health Heart Institute.

While open-heart surgery is the standard treatment for this condition, known as mitral valve regurgitation (MR), nearly 50 percent of patients are considered too high risk for surgery because of other illness or advanced age. The MitraClip®, which is a permanent implant device, is the first minimally invasive procedure approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of MR.

In patients with MR, one of the four heart valves (the mitral valve) does not close tightly, allowing blood to flow backward into the left chamber of the heart and lung. This requires the heart to work harder and may raise the risk of pulmonary hypertension, stroke and heart failure. 

Those with MR may have no symptoms for decades and be unaware that they have this condition until fatigue or shortness of breath set in. The condition can develop over time as a result of coronary artery disease. 

“We’re excited to offer this option to patients who would not be good candidates for open-heart surgery,” says Dr. Vijay Kasi of the Heart Valve Center at Orlando Health Heart Institute. “We have had good success performing this procedure at Orlando Health with patients experiencing a rapid recovery and improvement in quality of life.”

Unlike surgery, this procedure does not require opening the chest. Instead, doctors access the heart through a vein in the leg to implant the MitraClip, which closes the center of the mitral valve, allowing the heart to pump blood more efficiently.

For more information about the MitraClip procedure, or to make an appointment with an Orlando Health Heart Institute doctor, call 321.841.4324.