Structural Heart and Valvular Disease Program: MitraClip Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR)

Mitral regurgitation is a heart condition that causes blood to leak backward through the heart’s mitral valve. Most patients can have surgery through the vein in the groin to deploy a clip into the mitral valve to eliminate the leak. The MitraClip procedure is a percutaneous trans-septal technique, done through the skin to access the heart, and is appropriate for high-risk patients who cannot have the more common valve repair.

Cardiothoracic surgeons at the UF Health Cardiovascular Center in Jacksonville correct mitral regurgitation with this procedure, which improves the quality of life for patients throughout the region.

Who Qualifies for the MitraClip Procedure

If you have mitral regurgitation and your cardiologist has determined the risks are too high for you to undergo a traditional open-heart procedure, the MitraClip procedure is another option. For example, if you are over 70 years old or are more than 30 pounds overweight, the MitraClip procedure may be a good alternative.

However, you are not a candidate for the MitraClip procedure if you have:

  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • A high risk of bleeding
  • A valve infection
  • A clot in the heart or blood vessels

Benefits of the MitraClip Procedure

The MitraClip procedure has several benefits over traditional mitral valve surgery, including:

  • Less invasive than open heart surgery
  • Greatly improves symptoms of mitral regurgitation and your quality of life quickly after the procedure
  • Required hospital stay is typically only two to three days

What to Expect During the MitraClip Procedure

During this procedure, you will be under general anesthesia. On average, the MitraClip procedure takes about one to three hours to perform, though it can take longer in complex cases.

Because this is not surgery, we access the femoral vein and insert a small tube and guide it through the vein to your heart. Your interventionalist crosses the septum (the dividing wall) between the right and left upper chambers and passes the MitraClip (small metal clip) through this tube into the left side of your heart. The MitraClip is positioned over the leaky mitral valve and tiny adjustments are made to ensure the clip is in the correct position. Your surgeon will remove the tube from your heart, back through your vessels and out of the incision in the groin. The incision is then stitched up. You will likely stay in the hospital two to three days following the procedure.

Once in place, the MitraClip helps to better control the flow of blood and reduce mitral regurgitation by clipping together a small area of the mitral valve so that the blood can no longer leak back into it. In some rare cases, a second or even third MitraClip may need to be placed to fully control mitral regurgitation.

Recovering from the MitraClip Procedure

You should expect to stay in the hospital for about two to three days following this procedure. In most cases, you’ll be prescribed a blood thinning medication to reduce your risk of blood clots.

Why Choose UF Health for the MitraClip Procedure

The UF Health Cardiovascular Center – Jacksonville has internationally recognized physicians who are leaders in cardiac care, research and education. Our doctors have been leaders in minimally invasive chest and heart surgery for more than two decades. Our cardiothoracic (heart and chest) surgeons are professors and researchers in one of the nation’s largest cardiothoracic training programs as part of 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. Many leading-edge interventional therapies and more treatment options are offered in Northeast Florida only at the UF Health Cardiovascular Center – Jacksonville which in many cases means better outcomes for cardiovascular patients.

Jacksonville MitraClip Procedure Specialists

  • Theodore A. Bass, M.D.
    Professor
    Chief, Division of Cardiology; Medical Director, UF Health Cardiovascular Center - Jacksonville
    Specializes in Cardiovascular Disease; Interventional Cardiology
  • John Pirris, M.D.
    Assistant Professor
    Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
    Specializes in Thoracic Surgery
  • Daniel Soffer, M.D.
    Associate Professor
    Medical Director, Endovascular Cardiology
    Specializes in Cardiovascular Disease; Interventional Cardiology

Locations

  1. UF Health Cardiovascular Center – Emerson

    Suite 120
    4555 Emerson Street
    Jacksonville, FL 32207

  2. UF Health Cardiovascular Center – Jacksonville

    5th Floor, Ambulatory Care Center
    655 West 8th Street
    Jacksonville, FL 32209

  3. UF Health Cardiovascular Center – North

    Suite 3600
    15255 Max Leggett Parkway
    Jacksonville, FL 32218