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Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR)
If you have moderate to severe mitral valve regurgitation, minimally invasive transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) may be an option for you. It’s an innovative way to repair a leaking mitral valve.
At Orlando Health Heart Valve Center, our Heart Valve Team uses the MitraClip® - an effective and permanent implant device. We use this approach to treat mitral regurgitation (leaky valve) in certain patients who are too high-risk to have traditional mitral valve surgery.
Benefits of MitraClip TMVR include:
- Less time in the hospital
- Faster healing
- No sternotomy (surgically opening the chest)
- No heart-lung bypass machine during surgery
- Lower rate of hospitalization for heart failure and reduced heart failure symptoms
Who can have TMVR with MitraClip?
TMVR is a treatment option that involves smaller cuts, less trauma and a shorter recovery than open surgery. It could be right for you depending on your condition.
A cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) surgeon will evaluate you — including your health and medical history. This specialist may decide you can’t have open heart surgery because it isn’t safe for you.
Reasons you might not qualify for open heart surgery include:
- A history of heart disease
- Previous open heart surgery
- Pulmonary (lung) disease
- A prior stroke
- Frail condition due to advanced age
- Other health issues
Your surgeon will evaluate whether you qualify for the less invasive TMVR with MitraClip procedure. You must have a certain type of anatomy, which is the structure of your heart and valves.
To assess this, our team uses a type of heart ultrasound called a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE). You will receive an anesthetic and be sedated throughout this procedure. The doctor will pass a small probe with a camera through your mouth and into your esophagus, which is close to the upper part of your heart. TEE lets doctors get clear images of your heart structures and valves.
Your doctor will take pictures and exact measurements to see whether the MitraClip device will work. This is an outpatient, same-day procedure in one of our Orlando Health Hospitals.
TMVR with MitraClip may not be right for you if you have these or other conditions:
- You are well enough to have traditional mitral valve repair or replacement.
- You have an active infection or mitral valve inflammation.
- You have mitral valve disease due to rheumatic fever, or rheumatic or other mitral valve stenosis.
- You have abnormal heart and valve structures that were found in your TEE or other screening studies.
What to Expect if You Have TMVR with MitraClip
During TMVR, doctors can access your heart with a catheter (thin tube) inserted into a blood vessel through a small incision in your upper leg. Using image-guided technology, our Heart Valve Team will guide the MitraClip to your heart and implant the device. This surgery is done under general anesthesia.
The MitraClip is a small, fabric-covered clip that is custom-designed for this procedure. Surgeons can clip and unclip it as needed. This enables your doctor to precisely control and reduce the amount of blood that leaks backwards. The surgeon grasps the mitral valve leaflets (flaps) where the valve leaks the most. Once it is in the best position, your doctor permanently implants the clips. This lowers the amount of leaking blood by reducing a single, large opening to two smaller openings. Doctors can add a second clip if needed.
While you’re in the hospital, your care team will monitor your heart function and condition closely. The average hospital stay following surgery is two to three days.
After Your Procedure
After you leave the hospital, it is unlikely that you will require special assistance at home — unless you have pre-existing needs from other unrelated conditions. Your doctor may prescribe blood-thinning medications to prevent a blood clot. You’ll receive instructions about any other changes to your medications.
You should feel relief from your symptoms soon after your procedure — including symptoms of heart failure. This procedure lowers your risk of being admitted to the hospital in the future for heart failure or related conditions. Most patients can resume normal — or better than normal — activities within two weeks.
After your MitraClip procedure, you will receive an implant-identification card. Carry this with you at all times. Show this card if you report to an emergency room or if you require an MRI scan.
To contact us or schedule an appointment, call 321.841.4324.