TMVR an option for some with mitral valve regurgitation
Some people are not candidates for traditional surgery for mitral valve repair or replacement. This may be because of your age, health condition or other factors your doctor considers too great a risk for open-heart surgery.
MitraClip®, a type of transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR), is a less invasive treatment option to address mitral regurgitation (MR) often due to mitral valve prolapse (MVP). MR is a condition in which the valve leaflets of your heart do not close sufficiently as blood pumps. Therefore, blood “regurgitates” from the left ventricle into the left atrium. Because of this your heart has to work harder and you may experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, heart palpitations and fatigue. Left unchecked MR causes worsening heart failure.
How MitraClip works to control leaking heart valves
MitraClip uses catheter technology inserted through your leg and guided up to the left atrium of your heart. By maneuvering the guide wire and dilator, your surgeon gradually introduces the clip (a tiny metal device covered with polyester fabric) into the left atrium. The surgeon precisely positions the clip above the leak in your mitral valve, opens the clip “arms” and descends the clip into the left ventricle below the valve “leaflets.” The clip is then drawn out slowly, pulling the leaflets together as it goes. This greatly reduces MR as the blood flow is now controlled.
If further MR reduction is needed or can be improved, your surgeon again moves the clip into the ventricle, making adjustments to the position of the clip to ensure it is grasping optimally to reduce MR. Once positioned, the clip allows blood to flow on both sides of the clip and the clip moves naturally with the valve.
Benefits of MitraClip treatment
Recovery time from a MitraClip procedure is usually just a few days compared to several months or longer for open-heart surgery. Most patients notice the benefits right away.