UCI Health Cardiology Services offers MitraClip, a corrective valve repair device for patients diagnosed with a leaking mitral heart valve – a debilitating condition known as mitral regurgitation.
MitraClip is one of several leading-edge devices and procedures we offer as Orange County’s most advanced cardiovascular disease services program. Others include TAVR, Watchman, ECMO and LVAD.
What is MitraClip?
MitraClip is a mechanical clip that grasps, fits together and fastens the mitral valve leaflets of the heart. With this technique, the patient’s heart valve repair can occur without the need for open-heart surgery.
Who is MitraClip for?
MitraClip therapy provides a safe, non-surgical option for select high-surgical-risk patients with severe degenerative mitral regurgitation (DMR), who may otherwise go untreated. It also may be used for select heart failure patients.
What conditions does MitraClip address?
While MitraClip may benefit patients with severe degenerative mitral regurgitation (DMR), it may also benefit patients with heart failure who get mitral regurgitation from stretching of the left ventricle, which results in pulling the mitral valve leaflets apart and causing it to not close properly and result in a leaky valve.
Normally blood flows in only one direction through the four chambers of the heart. However, in some patients, the mitral valve can weaken or fail to close correctly, causing blood to move backward or regurgitate inside the heart.
Symptoms of mitral regurgitation may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue with exertion
- Arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation
- Heart failure
In the past, open-heart surgery was required to replace or repair the mitral valve.
How does MitraClip work?
MitraClip is a type of transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVr).
With TMVr, the MitraClip is inserted into the heart through a catheter or tube inserted into a large vein in the leg or groin.
The clip is then used to tighten the leaking heart valve, reducing or eliminating the amount of backflow or regurgitation of blood in the heart.
Unlike surgery, the MitraClip procedure does not require opening the chest and temporarily stopping the heart. It also avoids additional risks associated with major surgery.
The minimally invasive MitraClip procedure reduces hospital recovery time to no more than two to three days. Many patients are able to walk unassisted and even be discharged the next day.