Mitral Clip: Transforming Heart Surgery


SEATTLE, Wash. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Over 85 million individuals in the U.S. currently suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease. Among that number, those 75 years old and above are at the greatest risk, although open heart surgery often poses serious complications to them. That’s why a team of cardiologists at Swedish Medical Center are leading the way in a minimally-invasive procedure for seniors with a leaky heart valve. Mitral clip

After facing a life threatening heart condition, Arlington Carter has only one thing on his mind right now, his next tee time.

“I was out to the golf course this morning, swinging for the first time in four and a half years,” Carter tells Ivanhoe.

Carter had a leaky heart valve, also known as valve regurgitation. The condition happens when the mitral valve doesn’t close properly, which causes blood to flow backwards instead of forward. This pushes blood back to the lungs.

Swedish Heart and Vascular imaging cardiologist, Dr. Santanu Biswas explains, “Once you get above 80, the risk of something bad happening during, or even after the surgery, becomes much, much higher.”

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Left untreated, about 57 percent of patients with leaky heart valves may not survive one year. That’s why Carter’s cardiologists opted to use a mitral valve clip with it. “We’re able to take care of people, 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond,” Medical Director of Structural Heart Disease at Swedish Heart and Vascular, Dr. Sameer Gafoor says.

During surgery, Carter’s doctors used an echocardiogram to locate the leaky valve and determine the best place to secure the clip. Then, another process occurs.

“The clip is inserted through a small incision in the groin. We snake this device up through the femoral vein then up to the heart,” Dr. Biswas demonstrates.

Dr. Gafoor further explains, “By doing this, most patients are able to go home [the]same day and they start feeling so much better.”

“The mitral clip really revolutionized how we treat this condition,” Dr. Biswas adds.

Carter expresses, “There is just a light-year difference. I feel great.”

Leaky heart valve is a condition that affects one in 10 Americans over the age of 75. Swedish is leading the way in treating it. The hospital’s cardiology department recently completed their landmark 500th mitral clip procedure.

Contributors to this news report include: Jennifer Winter, Producer; Joe Alexander Short, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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American Heart Association




REPORT:       MB #5244

BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of death worldwide. They represent a range of conditions, such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, and many others. One person is reported dead every 33 seconds from a cardiovascular issue and nearly 700,000 people in the United States died from it in 2021 – that’s one in every five deaths. The human heart consists of four valves: the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, aortic valve, and pulmonary valve. These valves play a crucial role in maintaining the proper flow of blood through the heart’s chambers. When a valve becomes leaky, it disrupts the normal blood flow pattern and can affect the heart’s ability to pump efficiently. Leaky heart valves are known to be common as approximately 10 percent of the population experiences them.


CAUSES & SYMPTOMS: A leaky heart valve can take place in any one of the four heart valves. Many different factors can cause a leaky heart valve such as an abnormal heart muscle, birth heart defect, complicated circumstances after an infection, enlarged hearts, enlarged aorta, and trauma injuries to the heart. Mild heart valve leaking will not bring on many symptoms, but over time symptoms typically worsen. Symptoms can include dizziness and fainting, increased heartbeat, chest pains and pressures, swollen feet, and unusual tiredness.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: A team of cardiologists at the Swedish Medical Center are paving the way for a new minimally invasive surgery for elderly experiencing a leaky heart valve. This new minimally invasive treatment allows for a faster recovery time and lesser visible scarring.  Doctors at the Swedish Medical Center performed the surgery and used an echocardiogram to find a leaky valve then inserted a mitral valve clip through a small incision.



Mafara Hobson

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Santanu Biswas, Sameer Gafoor, Sidakpal Panaich, Swedish Heart and Vascular doctors

Read the entire Q&A