Physicians at John Muir Health, a nationally recognized, not-for-profit healthcare organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties, are offering patients with mitral regurgitation (MR) a novel and innovating minimal invasive treatment.
The percutaneous mitral valve repair, or MitraClip procedure is being performed in the center and has been recently approved in the United States to help patients suffering from severe symptomatic degenerative MR who are at prohibitive risk for open heart, mitral valve surgery.
The clinicians had success in their first MitraClip procedure that was performed last June, the 11th and have other procedures scheduled during the upcoming weeks.
An anatomic deficiency of the heart mitral valve is in the cause of Degenerative MR, a progressive, debilitating and life-threatening condition in which a leaky mitral valve leads to a backward flow of the blood in the heart. The disease affects nearly 4 million people in the US, about one in every 10 people aged over 75 years and can increase the risk of heart failure, irregular heartbeats and stroke.
Open heart mitral valve surgery is the conventional treatment, however, some patients cannot undergo the procedure due to specific risk factors including age and physical condition. Drugs available to treat the condition only treat symptoms.
Abbott Vascular’s MitraClip is a surgical procedure that is able to repair the mitral valve without the need for an open heart procedure, where a device is placed in the heart through the femoral vein and once correctly placed the heart is able to pump the blood effectively.
The recovery period is short, usually requiring patients to spend less than 48 hours in the hospital.
The team at the John Muir Health MitraClip includes cardiovascular surgeons and cardiologists who collaborate in the screening process and perform the procedure in patients who can benefit from the treatment option. The physicians include cardiovascular surgeons Murali Dharan, M.D. and Jatinder Dhillon, M.D., and cardiologists Andrew Dublin, M.D., Faizul Haque, M.D., Paul McWhirter, M.D., Howard Min, M.D. and Perkin Shiu, M.D.
Results from clinical studies assessing the MitraClip device clinical outcomes have shown that the procedure is safe, able to reduce MR, able to improve the symptoms, and to reduce the number of hospital stays for heart failure. Worldwide, about 20,000 patients have been treated with the MitraClip device.