UCI Health expands cardiology services offered to patients

Addition of  MitraClip and Watchman meets needs of patients with atrial fibrillation and valve problem

November 01, 2019

UCI Health Cardiology Services now offers treatment options for patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF), and mitral valve regurgitation. 

More than six million people in the United States have AF and with an aging population that number is expected to increase, according to the Centers for Disease Control. With AF, the heart quivers or shakes and does not move blood properly through its four chambers, causing blood to pool and potentially form blood clots.

The Watchman implant keeps blood clots from escaping to the bloodstream and causing a stroke.

“The Watchman implant allows patients in Orange County to benefit from the most advanced care techniques for their cardiac needs,” said Dr. Pranav Patel, chief, division of cardiology, UCI Health. 

Cardiologists at UCI Medical Center also offer a procedure for patients diagnosed with mitral regurgitation - leaking mitral heart valve. Normally blood flows in only one direction, downward, through the four chambers of the heart.  

In some patients, the mitral valve can weaken or fail to close correctly, causing blood to move backwards inside the heart. Prolonged regurgitation can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, in some cases an enlarged heart and heart failure - eventually leading to a weak heart. In the past all these procedures needed open-heart surgery to replace or repair the valve. 

MitraClip is inserted into the heart through a catheter in a large vein of the groin. The clip effectively seals the leaking heart valve correctly, reducing the amount of backflow or regurgitation through the heart. With this technique, the patient’s valve repair can occur without the need for open-heart surgery and they are walking and on their way home the next day. 

The heart specialists at UCI Health Cardiovascular Center are leaders in Orange County and the region at diagnosing and treating patients with all types of heart conditions and diseases. For more information, visit the Cardiology Services page or call 714-456-6699.

UCI Health comprises the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, California. The 402-bed acute care hospital provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, and behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.