One in 10 people over age 75 has a common ailment called mitral regurgitation (leaky mitral/heart valve). Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue and swelling in the legs. Today there’s an alternative to invasive open heart mitral valve surgery.
Interventional cardiologists can use a MitraClip™ device for patients who have severe mitral valve regurgitation. This happens when the mitral valve of the heart does not close completely, causing blood to flow backward and leak into the heart’s left atrium.
“Mitral regurgitation makes the pressures inside the heart and the lungs go up and causes heart failure symptoms,” said CHI Health Interventional Cardiologist Arun Kanmanthareddy, MBBS. “Over time this causes the heart function to weaken and the heart chambers to enlarge. Once this happens, the heart function may not return back to normal even after repair or replacement. The mortality rates go up dramatically.”
When performing the procedure, surgeons use a MitraClip™ device to “clip together” flaps of the valve. This procedure is performed through the big vein in the leg similar to a heart catheterization procedure. Recovery takes about 24 to 48 hours.
“Patients can expect to see improvement in their heart failure symptoms such as leg swelling, ability to breathe better, improved sleep and more energy to do things,” said Dr. Kanmanthareddy. “Over time patients can expect improvement in their heart function and quality of life with results similar to surgery.”
CHI Health performs the most MitraClip™ procedures of any health system in the state.