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Mitral Regurgitation and MitraClip

MitraClip is performed on people with severe leaking of their mitral valve, known as mitral regurgitation, causing them to experience symptoms of heart failure.

What is mitral regurgitation?

The mitral valve is between your left atrium (top chamber) and the left ventricle (bottom chamber)of your heart. In a normally functioning mitral valve, blood flows in a single direction between the left atrium and left ventricle. When your mitral valve’s two leaflets (or flaps) do no close properly, some blood flows backwards through the atrium into the left ventricle. This is called mitral regurgitation (MR). To compensate and keep the blood flowing through the body, the left ventricle pumps harder. This strain can lead to heart complications.

How do I know if I need mitral valve repair?

If your mitral valve is severely leaking and straining the heart muscle, you may need it repaired. Severe MR can lead to heart failure (difficulty managing the fluid volume within the body), resulting in shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen ankles and feet or even lightheadedness. You may need many medical visits and hospital stays.

If this is the case, you may need an evaluation for repair of the mitral valve. Our team may perform an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to better visualize the mitral valve and the severity of its leaking. If treatment is felt necessary, one treatment option may be the MitraClip procedure.

What is MitraClip?

In this minimally invasive procedure, doctors guide a catheter through a vein in the leg to the mitral valve in the heart. A small metal clip is then attached to the mitral valve, enabling it to open and close more completely without leaking, restoring normal blood flow. MitraClip should decrease stress on the heart and relieve symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue and swollen feet and ankles.

Who is a MitraClip candidate?

MitraClip is used to treat MR in those who may be at high risk for open heart surgery. To determine if you are a candidate, you will need a full evaluation that would include 3D imaging studies and consultation with the Valve Clinic team. This information will determine if treatment is necessary and if MitraClip is an option.

Why undergo MitraClip?

If severe MR is left untreated, it can lead to heart failure, where the heart becomes weak and the body has fluid overload. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen ankles and feet, and even death. You also may have frequent hospital stays.

If MitraClip is felt to be an option, your doctor will review with you the risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as possible treatment outcomes.

Why choose our program?

The MitraClip program began in 2015 at the CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center. Our program continues to grow and is known for its great care and excellent outcomes.

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If you have questions about our program, our Valve Clinic coordinators would be happy to assist you. Please call us at 320-293-0750.

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