Mitral valve regurgitation is a heart condition that causes blood to leak back from the left lower chamber (left ventricle) to the left upper chamber (left atrium) through the diseased mitral valve. Your mitral valve may be leaking due to degeneration of the valve itself or due to an enlarged heart. When patients with mitral valve regurgitation develop symptoms or their heart function declines, mitral valve repair or replacement is recommended.
What is transcatheter mitral valve repair (MitraClip)?
If you are at high risk to undergo conventional open-heart surgery, the mitral valve can be repaired with a catheter-based system from a vein in the groin using a minimally invasive procedure called MitraClip transcatheter mitral valve repair, or TMVR.
Our specialized interventional cardiologists at the UF Health Cardiovascular Center in Jacksonville have successfully used transcatheter mitral valve repair (MitraClip) to improve the quality of life for patients like you throughout the region.
Symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation
- Difficulty doing exercise or other physical activity
- Heart murmur
- Shortness of breath, fatigue
- Swelling in the legs or feet
MitraClip procedure: Who qualifies?
If you have mitral valve regurgitation and your cardiologist has determined the risks are too high to undergo a traditional open-heart surgery, the MitraClip procedure is an option for you. If you are over 70 years old and have other medical problems such as lung, liver or kidney disease, the MitraClip procedure may be a good alternative.
MitraClip procedure: Benefits
The MitraClip procedure has several benefits over traditional mitral valve surgery, including:
- Improves symptoms of mitral regurgitation and quality of life quickly after the procedure
- Improves survival in patients with reduced heart function
- Less invasive than open heart surgery
- Reduces your risk of being hospitalized for heart failure in the future
- Required hospital stay is typically only one day
MitraClip procedure: What to expect
- During this procedure, you will be under general anesthesia. On average, the MitraClip procedure takes about one to two hours to performed. At UF Health Jacksonville, the procedure is performed by a team of two interventional cardiologist specialized on structural heart disease procedures.
- The procedure is done via the femoral vein in the groin through a small (around 1 cm) skin incision. A catheter or tube in inserted through the skin into the vein and is advanced into the right side of the heart. Your interventional cardiologist crosses the septum (the dividing wall) between the right and left upper chambers and places the catheter into the left upper chamber. The MitraClip (small metal clip cover with a special fabric) is inserted through this tube into the left upper chamber where the mitral valve can be reached.
- The MitraClip is positioned over the leaky mitral valve and tiny adjustments are made to ensure the clip is in the correct position. After implantation of the clip, all the catheters and equipment are removed from the body and the small skin incision is stitched.
- Once in place, the MitraClip reduces mitral regurgitation by clipping together a small area of the mitral valve so that the blood can no longer leak back into the left upper chamber. In a few cases, a second or third MitraClip may be needed to take care of the mitral regurgitation.
You should expect to stay in the hospital for about one night following this procedure and the majority of patients are able to perform regular activities within two to three days. You may be referred to the outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program.
Why choose UF Health?
The internationally recognized heart team experts at the UF Health Cardiovascular Center are leaders in cardiac care, research and education. Our doctors have been leaders in percutaneous transcatheter interventions and minimally invasive heart and chest surgery for more than two decades. Our interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons are professors and researchers in one of the nation's largest cardiovascular training programs at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville.
Our cardiologists, as faculty of the University of Florida Division of Cardiology – Jacksonville, participate in numerous national and international clinical trials. Using the most sophisticated equipment available, the center offers state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative cardiac services. In Northeast Florida, many leading-edge interventional therapies are only available at the UF Health Cardiovascular Center – Jacksonville, which we believe provides better outcomes for our cardiovascular patients.