MitraClip® for mitral valve repair

A minimally invasive treatment for mitral regurgitation

If you’ve been told traditional surgery for mitral regurgitation (MR) is too risky, the MitraClip device may be a good alternative.

Mitral regurgitation is a heart condition in which the mitral valve “leaks,” or allows blood to flow back into the heart. Ordinarily, treating severe MR involves open-heart surgery to repair or replace the leaky valve. But surgery isn’t for everyone.

What is the MitraClip device?

DistalClip CU5whitedisclaimerThe mitral valve is one of four heart valves that regulate blood throughout your body. Severely leaky mitral valves can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, and an irregular heart rhythm.

At the Cardiac Innovations & Structural Heart Center at the Heart Hospital of Edward-Elmhurst Health, we use MitraClip to fix a leaky mitral valve without the need for open-heart surgery. Once implanted, the tiny clips on this device will stop or reduce a leaky valve by grasping its leaflets, which are tissue flaps on the valve that open or close to control blood flow, and pulling the leaflets together.

The MitraClip procedure lessens or eliminates mitral regurgitation, improves cardiac function and reduces the risk you’ll be hospitalized for heart failure in the future.

Getting the MitraClip at Edward-Elmhurst Health

Heart surgery is a major decision that involves a lot of trust in your surgeons. You can depend on the heart team at the Cardiac Innovations & Structural Heart Center to give you exceptional, expert care.

The MitraClip was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008, and Edward Hospital was the first community hospital in the Chicago area to treat patients with severe mitral regurgitation with the device. In fact, we perform the most MitraClip procedures in Illinois.  

To implant the MitraClip, we’ll make a small puncture in your groin area and insert a catheter – a thin, flexible tube – into a vein in your leg. We’ll thread this tube up to the left side of the heart, where your mitral valve is located. Then we’ll guide the MitraClip device through the catheter and position it over the leaky valve.

Using a delivery system connected to the MitraClip, we’ll make precise adjustments to ensure the device grasps your mitral valve’s leaflets. After that, we’ll reassess the blood flow. If necessary, we will implant additional MitraClip devices to correct the leakage.

You will be put under anesthesia for the procedure, which typically takes one to three hours. Over 90 percent of patients go home the next day after receiving the MitraClip.

Am I a good candidate for MitraClip?

The FDA requires that candidates for the MitraClip procedure have mitral regurgitation that’s caused by the mitral valve, not an issue with the heart itself. Good candidates also must be considered too high-risk for traditional surgery.

You should not receive the MitraClip procedure if you have one of the following conditions:

  • A clot inside the heart or inside the vessels through which we deliver the device
  • Active infection of the mitral valve
  • Active inflammation of the heart (endocarditis)
  • High risk for bleeding and inability to tolerate blood-thinning medication
  • Rheumatic mitral valve disease

Read Franklin “Del” Sandberg’s story of beating mitral regurgitation with MitraClip

Ready to learn more about the MitraClip device?

Ask your doctor for a referral to our Cardiac Innovations & Structural Heart Center at the Heart Hospital of Edward-Elmhurst Health. We’ll work with you to determine if MitraClip is a good treatment option for your mitral regurgitation. You also can view an animated example of the MitraClip procedure:

Fill out our online form to request more information, or call (630) 527-3730 for more information.