The MitraClip is a device used to treat mitral regurgitation. It was established as an alternative to open heart surgery, which is traditionally used to repair a leaking mitral valve. This less invasive procedure involves taking a repairing device to the heart through a tube in the femoral leg vein.

After carefully assessing your condition, your doctors in consultation with a team of heart specialists, may find that the MitraClip procedure is a suitable treatment option for you.

Mitral regurgitation

The mitral valve, located on the left side of the heart, is a one-way valve that normally stops back-flow of blood into the lungs. Sometimes, when the valve doesn’t close completely, blood flows backward, or “leaks”, through the valve. This is called mitral regurgitation.

If the leak is severe, it can cause stress on the heart and lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath, leg swelling and abnormal heart beat (palpitations).

Your general practitioner, cardiologist and other treating specialists will assess your symptoms and general condition to determine if a MitraClip is an appropriate treatment option for you.

MitraClip procedure

The MitraClip procedure is performed by the structural heart team at the Wesley. During this procedure:

  • A general anaesthetic is administered, including being put on a breathing machine to support your breathing.
  • An ultrasound probe is placed down your oesophagus to visualise the heart.
  • A tube (sheath) is inserted into a vein in your leg.
  • Through the tube in the leg, a delivery wire is used to carry the MitraClip up to your heart under X-ray. Two or three clips may be required.
  • To cross from the right to the left side of the heart internally, the surgeon will create a small hole in one of the internal walls (called the arterial septum) in the heart.
  • The repair device will be positioned and the mitral valve will be closed, or “clipped” together, using the MitraClip.
  • All wires and tubes are removed from your body, and a stitching device is used to close up the hole in your leg vein.

The information here is for general reference only. To understand the benefits and risks specific to your condition and overall situation, please discuss the procedure with your treating doctor.

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