What is the MitraClip procedure?

Following on from last week's blog about mitral valve regurgitation we thought you might want to know a little more about the MitraClip procedure which is one of the treatment options for mitral valve regurgitation. MitraClip is a transcatheter valve repair.

MitraClip is a less invasive mitral valve regurgitation treatment option. Before MitraClip was available, the only treatment option for mitral regurgitation was mitral valve surgery which is performed as traditional open heart surgery.

MitraClip however is:

  • Less invasive

  • Associated with faster recovery times with patients often returning home 2-3 days after the procedure

How does it work?

Unlike the traditional repair surgery, the MitraClip procedure doesn't need the chest to be opened. The doctors access the faulty mitral valve via a catheter (long thin tube) which is fed up to the heart from a vein in the leg.

The doctor uses image guidance to feed the catheter up the veins from the groin to the heart to gain access to the mitral valve.

The MitraClip (the device used to repair the valve) is then also fed along the catheter and into the heart chamber - just above the faulty valve. The MitraClip is then moved from the atrium into the ventricle - through the faulty valve. It is then pulled backwards gently to hold the flaps of the valve. The clip holds the centre of the valve together to stop the flapping which is causing the regurgitation.

Imaging of the heart is used throughout the procedure to make sure the clip is in the best place for the valve to work efficiently. Once the position is correct the clip is locked in place and the access catheter is removed.

The MitraClip will stay in situ and fibrous tissue will grow around it.

The MitraClip (Abbott website) has a great video explaining how the procedure works.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.