NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – When a person’s heart valves don’t close tightly enough, blood can leak into the heart and lungs. The condition is known as mitral regurgitation and affects about 4 million people in the United States.
For those with severe MR, open heart surgery used to be the only option. But, now a new FDA approved device is helping the sickest patients.
Alice Comer is thankful to show off pictures of her grandkids. After her second open heart surgery two years ago, her heart valve started leaking, filling her lungs with fluid.
“I was in and out of the hospital about every 2 weeks, sometimes every week. They would take a very long needle and go in your back and draw the fluid out. It was awful,” Comer told Ivanhoe.
But, Comer was too sick for another open heart surgery.
“They said it would kill me,” Comer said.
Instead, Mark Stankewicz, MD, Interventional Cardiologist, Saint Thomas Heart, offered her a new treatment known as, Mitraclip.
A catheter is guided through the leg vein to the heart valve where the Mitraclip is sent, clipping it together.
“There is no incision, the heart is not stopped, it’s beating the whole time,” Dr. Stankewicz said.
It worked for Comer. No shortness of breath. No other symptoms.
“I don’t feel tied down and I do about everything I want to,” Comer said.
Like spending quality time with her daughter.
Unlike traditional surgery, where patients will spend at least a week in the hospital recovering, patients with Mitraclip are generally up the same day and often go home the day after. MORE.