MitraClip® is a trademark of the Abbott Group of Companies.

Additional Treatment for Leaking Mitral Valves

Dr. Roi Altit, an Interventional and Structural Cardiologist at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne

January 04, 2019 - 11:14 am

MitraClip® is a trademark of the Abbott Group of Companies.
The most common heart valve disease is a leaky mitral valve, also called mitral regurgitation, which leaves the patient suffering shortness of breath and fatigue and requiring repeated trips to the hospital for heart failure. Dr. Roi Altit, an Interventional and Structural Cardiologist at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, says the most effective treatment is open heart surgery. Unfortunately, that's not a good treatment for everyone with this issue. As we age, more of us have problems with a leaky mitral valve and Dr. Altit says many older patients are too sick or have too many other medical issues making open heart surgery a huge risk.

He says a minimally invasive procedure can now implant a device called the MitraClip to repair the leaking valve. The MitraClip is placed through a catheter inserted through a vein in the groin. The clip keeps the faulty valve closed and prevents all or most of the blood from leaking. Patients who undergo the procedure are often able to leave the hospital the next day.

Dr. Altit says the MitraClip device is giving more patients the opportunity to enjoy a better quality of life and avoid the hospital. Patients who can't undergo open-heart surgery are no longer receiving only palliative care, just being treated for their symptoms. Now they are getting a treatment that eliminates the symptoms and fixes the problem.