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Heart Health

MitraClip: Valve repair device offers new treatment option for some with severe mitral regurgitation

April 24, 2019

About the Author

photo of Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD

Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD, Contributor

Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD, is a cardiac surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kaneko received his medical degree from Keio University School of Medicine in … See Full Bio
View all posts by Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD


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A.J. Helias
June 10, 2019

Is the Mitral valve the same as a TAVR valve replacement which I recently had replaced? Thank you for your reply.

Tsuyoshi Kaneko
June 12, 2019

No, TAVR Actually replaces the valve. This technology is so called repair technique where it preserves its own tissue. Repair versus replacement and mitral valve has been debated, although repair is considered better in this particular valve.

Bill Noon
May 10, 2019

I have Mitral Valve Regurgitateion and have. Scheduled clip procedure on June 6th. St Luke’s H.I. Kansas City. My pumping power has decreased over the years and it’s stayed around 35 pumps per minute. I could tolerate that, with some shortness of breath and dry coughing. My pumping power dropped into the lower 20’s 6 weeks ago and my breathing became troublesome and increased coughing, fatigue also. Has the Mitral Valve Clip helped increase
Pumping power on patients who had similar situations?

Tsuyoshi Kaneko
May 12, 2019

That’s a really good question. Typically the clip will not improve the pump function. Instead, it will provide more forward flow rather than backward flow, hence increasing the blood flow to the organs. This leads to improved symptoms. There are some cases where we see improved pump function, but it is not what we expect in every case.

Cora Bole
May 5, 2019

As someone in need of a mitral valve I have researched the options. You say the risk is that it doesn’t stop MR completely. Valve replacement doesn’t either but it’s accepted as minor. With all the pros you list how can this not be the first line of defense rather that highly invasive open heart surgery?

Tsuyoshi Kaneko
May 6, 2019

Valve replacement will rarely leave regurgitation postoperatively, and that is one benefit the patient will have undergoing surgery. The residual regurgitation is directly related to long-term survival, so the clip at this point is not for everyone.

Donald White
April 29, 2019

Thank you Mr. Tsyoshi for such a great information…

Tsuyoshi Kaneko
April 25, 2019

Thank you for the comment. Last year, 5800 Mitraclip cases were performed, and the complication risks were very low (most complications such as stroke, infection and reinterventions were all below 2%). However, about 12% stayed at NYHA class III or higher, meaning that the improvement was not dramatic. This procedure is not for everyone, but certainly will serve high risk population.

April 25, 2019

What is the clip made of? The FDA has a record of approving medical appliances that use reveals is made of compounds that leach into the body & damage it.

Otherwise, sounds like a good idea although no data on how long it’s been available, how many have been inserted/installed successfully, % of complications resulting from installation (infection, etc), and how much it improves heart functioning are provided. Easy to see that a less invasive procedure would be safer, but no data provided about followup after that very short post-surgery hospitalization.

April 25, 2019

Firstly, I would like to thank Mr. Tsyoshi Kaneko for providing such a detailed description of the Mitral valve regurgitation heart problem, its causes, and methods of cure. With the increasing healthcare and modern technologies, these new inventions provide hope.
I had heard many times, about the open heart surgery but never knew what valve regurgitation was.
It was great reading about it.

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