Mitral Valve Repair

Mitral valve regurgitation is a heart condition in which a leaky mitral valve makes it difficult for your heart to correctly pump and circulate blood throughout your body. According to the NIH, it is the most common type of heart valve disorder.

Mitral valve regurgitation can cause blood to flow backward, into your lungs. In some cases, it may even be life-threatening. While severe mitral valve regurgitation has traditionally been treated by open-heart surgery, some people are unable to undergo a surgical procedure.

Mitral Valve Regurgitation Diagram
Image source: American Heart Association 2013

However, a device recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), called the MitraClip®, may be an option for mitral valve repair if you are not a candidate for traditional surgery. MitraClip® is the first percutaneous mitral valve repair treatment option available. MitraClip® is delivered to your heart via a thin, tube-like catheter inserted in your femoral vein, a blood vessel in your leg. Once implanted, MitraClip® repairs your mitral valve by fastening its loose areas to prevent leakage and allow your heart to pump blood more efficiently.

Symptoms of mitral valve damage (or mitral valve regurgitation) often develop slowly over time and can include:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive urination at night
  • Fatigue and light-headedness
  • Noticeable heart palpitations

Who is a candidate for MitraClip®?

If you have severe, symptomatic mitral valve regurgitation and have been told that you are unable to undergo traditional surgery, you may be a candidate for MitraClip®. People who have MitraClip® treatment typically experience faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays of two to three days, versus up to a week or longer for conventional surgery.

Contact us to make an appointment at the Knight Cardiovascular Institute or get directions. You can also learn more about OHSU’s team of heart experts.


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