M. Wail Hashimi, M.D., FACC is pictured here, holding the MitraClip.
M. Wail Hashimi, M.D., FACC, is pictured here, holding the MitraClip.

The minimally invasive MitraClip treatment is an option for people who have a severe leak in the mitral valve. The condition is called mitral regurgitation (MR) and is the most common heart valve disease.

For select patients who are too high risk for traditional open-heart surgery, MitraClip offers a safe and effective treatment option. A leak in the mitral valve occurs when the flaps, or doors, do not close completely, allowing blood to flow back into the heart as it pumps. The heart has to work harder, as a result, to keep blood flowing which can raise the risk of life-threatening stroke and heart failure. When MR becomes severe, it can profoundly affect a person’s quality of life by causing shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and other debilitating symptoms.

The small MitraClip is guided into place using a thin tube (or catheter) guided through a small incision made in a leg vein. The clip is then attached to the flaps of the mitral valve to help it close more completely and restore normal blood flow. Patients tend to have a short hospital stay and experience improved heart function and relief almost immediately.