Orlando Health Introduces New MitraClip® Procedure — A Minimally Invasive Technique to Treat Mitral Valve Regurgitation

The Heart Valve Center at Orlando Health Heart Institute is proud to now offer a minimally invasive treatment option for patients suffering from mitral valve regurgitation.

On October 17, 2016, an Orlando Health cardiac team successfully implanted the first totally percutaneous MitraClip® at Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center to treat a patient with severe mitral valve regurgitation. The MitraClip team includes Vijay Kasi, MD, PhD; Steven Hoff, MD; Deepak Vivek, MD; Carolina Demori, MD; Illena Antonetti, MD; Arnold Einhorn, MD; and Aurelio Duran, MD.

Mitral regurgitation (MR) is the most common type of heart valve disease. Nearly 1 in 10 people age 75 and older have moderate or severe MR, affecting approximately 4 million people in the U.S. MR is a progressive condition that occurs when the flaps of the heart’s mitral valve do not close completely, causing blood to flow backward into the left atrium of the heart. This requires the heart to work harder, placing an extra burden on the heart and lungs. If untreated, MR can eventually cause serious problems, such as heart failure, which can be life-threatening.

While surgery is the standard treatment for 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 mitral valve therapy approved by the FDA for degenerative mitral regurgitation.

Unlike surgery, during the MitraClip procedure the heart continues beating on its own and does not require the heart-lung bypass machine common with open-heart surgery. Rather, the MitraClip device is guided through a catheter inserted into a blood vessel (femoral vein) — with just a small incision in the upper leg — to the heart. The surgeon then deploys a clip that grasps the mitral valve flaps, closing the center of the mitral valve and reducing the size of the gap. By reducing the gap between the malfunctioning flaps, the backflow of blood (regurgitation) is reduced. Heart function gradually improves, relieving MR symptoms, which can include shortness of breath, fatigue, cough, and swelling of the feet or ankles, and improving the patient’s quality of life.

Rigorously conducted clinical trials have shown that successful MitraClip procedures will result in fewer hospitalizations for heart failure, improve quality of life and provide relief of symptoms. After undergoing a MitraClip procedure, most patients can expect to stay in the hospital for less than a week and resume normal activities within two weeks.

The Orlando Health Heart Institute Valve Center is one of the most advanced and comprehensive centers in Central Florida, providing the very best care for valvular heart disease patients. In addition to this new MitraClip procedure, our expert team of interventional cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons has performed more than 150 TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) procedures.

Whatever your treatment, you will be cared for by a dedicated team of professionals whose focus is on providing exceptional care and placing your needs first.

For more information on the MitraClip or TAVR, contact Debra Shaw, valve clinic coordinator, at 321.843.7583.