State-of-the-Art Mitral Valve Repair 

heart diagram.

The human heart is an amazing organ that has four valves that regulate the flow of blood between the four chambers. The main purpose of the heart is to pump arterial (oxygenated) blood to all of your vital organs and transport venous (deoxygenated) blood to your lungs to be re-oxygenated to repeat the cycle. The Mitral Valve allows blood flow from your left atrium to your left ventricle. These two chambers of your heart hold oxygen-rich blood from your lungs and pump that blood out to your body.  

When your Mitral Valve becomes diseased or damaged, it can’t work as well as it should. Mild damage may cause no symptoms and no major problems. But severe damage to your mitral valve can harm your heart over time and lead to serious problems like heart failure.

Your Mitral Valve is made of two strong flaps of tissue called leaflets or cusps. These flaps open and close in a coordinated rhythm to let blood flow out of your left atrium and into your left ventricle.  The three forms of mitral valve disease include: 

Mitral Valve Stenosis. Your valve’s flaps become thick and stiff. This narrows the valve opening and makes it harder for blood to get through. 

Mitral Valve Prolapse. Your valve’s flaps become too stretchy and bulge into your left atrium. This prevents your valve from closing as well as it should. It sometimes leads to regurgitation (leaky valve). 

Mitral Valve Regurgitation. This is commonly known as a leaky valve. It’s also sometimes called “mitral insufficiency.” Your valve’s flaps become pulled apart and can’t close all the way. So, some blood leaks backward into your left atrium. 

There are many possible causes for mitral valve disease. These include: Congenital Heart Defect. Some people are born with mitral valve disease. It may be mild or severe. Babies with life-threatening defects need surgery right away. 

Connective Tissue Disorders. These include Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. 

Endocarditis. This is an infection in your heart. 

Enlargement of your Left Ventricle, usually due to a heart attack or cardiomyopathy. 

Getting Older. As we age, calcium can slowly build up on our heart valves. For many people, this buildup only causes mild or moderate mitral valve stenosis. 

Radiation Therapy. People who had radiation to their chest have a higher risk of heart valve damage. These issues usually don’t show up until 10 to 20 years later. Rheumatic Fever. This infection, when untreated, can lead to heart valve damage. The damage can show up years or decades after the infection. Rheumatic fever is the most common cause of mitral valve stenosis, especially among people born before 1943. Modern use of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections has greatly reduced this problem in the U.S. and many other countries.

This article is focused on the minimally invasive treatment options for Mitral Valve Regurgitation for patients who are not candidates for surgery. These options have helped many patients who would not traditionally qualify for surgery to undergo a procedure that can improve their quality of life and quickly return them to normal activities. Today, cardiovascular specialists have several options to treat Mitral Regurgitation by inserting Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair Systems that repair the valve to restore effective functionality. The MitraClip and the PASCAL Precision Device are two of the repair systems available to cardiologists to offer treatment options to patients with this condition. These minimally invasive procedures can improve heart and valve functionality to improve patient symptoms and activity levels to improve their quality of life.

MitraClip™ PASCAL Precision  

Tri-City Cardiology has highly trained Structural Heart Cardiologists who specialize in the treatment of patients with this condition to offer the best treatment options for each individual patient. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mitral Valve Disease, contact your heart specialist to inquire about your treatment options to ensure the best option for you!

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