Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (MitraClip)
Transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) is a minimally invasive procedure that may be an option for patients with degenerative mitral regurgitation who are too sick for surgery. Billings Clinic is the only health care organization in eastern Montana and Wyoming to offer this leading edge technology.
Unlike surgery, this procedure does not require opening the chest and temporarily stopping the heart. Your cardiac specialists will place a thin tube (called a catheter) through your skin and into a large vein in your leg to reach your heart.
A MitraClip is then implanted onto the center of your mitral valve. This reduces mitral regurgitation, and the valve continues to open and close on either side of the clip, allowing blood to flow through.
To determine whether you are able to withstand mitral valve surgery or if you are a potential candidate for Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair, you will be evaluated by a heart team. This team includes a cardiac surgeon and a cardiologist, who will review your medical history and perform a variety of tests.
The Mitral Valve and Mitral Regurgitation
The mitral valve is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle of your heart. In a normally functioning mitral valve, blood flows in a single direction between the left atrium and left ventricle. However, when your mitral valve’s two leaflets (or flaps) do not close properly, some blood flows backward through the valve back into the left atrium. This is called mitral regurgitation.
To make up for the backflow of blood, your left ventricle must pump harder to keep blood flowing through your body. This strain can enlarge and weaken your heart. Over time, the extra burden on your heart and lungs may lead to congestive heart failure, a condition that occurs when your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the needs of your body. This may cause you to have shortness of breath, fatigue, an irregular heartbeat, or a persistent cough.
Mitral Regurgitation Treatment
Treatment for your mitral regurgitation depends on how severe it is and how sick you are. Your doctor may prescribe medications that reduce symptoms such as fluid buildup in the lungs. However, these medications only treat the symptoms and do not address the underlying problem with your mitral valve that is causing your disease.