A minimally invasive option for mitral regurgitation in high-risk patients

Transcatheter mitral valve repair is now an option for patients at high risk for conventional surgery.

Transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVr) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a minimally invasive treatment for patients at high risk for conventional surgery.

Mitral valve regurgitation sometimes doesn’t need any treatment or can be treated with medication. In moderate to severe cases the valve needs repair to make it close tighter and prevent blood from flowing backward. Mitral regurgitation can be severe enough to cause symptoms such as fatigue and feeling out of breath. If it isn’t treated, mitral valve regurgitation can lead to heart failure or arrhythmias.

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“Heart surgery is still the recommended treatment for patients with moderate to severe mitral valve regurgitation or those with severe valvular disease,” said D. Sean Stewart, M.D., medical director of interventional cardiology at Norton Heart & Vascular Institute and medical director of the Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Structural Heart Program. “Patients who haven’t found relief from other treatments and are too sick to undergo surgery are benefitting from this new option.”

Interventional cardiologists at Norton Heart & Vascular Institute have been helping patients with this minimally invasive valve repair for more than two years.

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute interventional cardiologists use a catheter to place the MitraClip on the two mitral valve leaflets. While placing the clip, Interventional cardiologists monitor blood flow and adjust the device’s position until the regurgitation is minimized if not eliminated.

Cardiothoracic surgeons and interventional cardiologists at Norton Heart & Vascular Institute also perform transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR). The valve-in-valve replacement addresses a previously implanted bioprosthetic valve that has started to wear out, leading to regurgitation or stenosis.

As an alternative to surgery in high-risk patients, TMVR can improve quality of life dramatically.

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