Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR)

Treatment

Mercy’s cardiovascular specialists offer expertise in treating complex valve conditions. Our advanced care can help you lead a healthy and active life. We offer the latest minimally invasive techniques to restore mitral valve function, including transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) using the MitraClip® device.

What’s TMVR?

TMVR, transcatheter mitral valve repair, is a procedure for repairing the mitral valve that’s less invasive than open-heart surgery. Instead of opening the chest, a catheter (thin tube) is inserted through an artery in the groin to reach the heart and repair the valve. TMVR provides an option for patients to treat severe mitral regurgitation (MR) or mitral stenosis without surgery.

What’s Mitral Regurgitation (MR)?

Each time your heart beats, the mitral valve helps move oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. When the mitral valve can’t close properly, it leaks blood back into the heart – a condition called mitral regurgitation (MR). Left untreated, MR can sometimes damage the heart muscle and lead to congestive heart failure. Depending on the severity, people with MR may experience shortness of breath, chest pain or fatigue. In severe cases, the heart muscle can become damaged, leading to heart failure.

Benefits of TMVR

Many patients experience improved heart function, fewer hospitalizations and a better quality of life after TMVR. It’s important to discuss your treatment options with your cardiologist. Your doctor will determine if TMVR is right for you. Benefits of TMVR include:

  • No chest incision (sternotomy) – TMVR doesn’t involve opening the chest to reach the heart, so there’s no incision or scar.
  • Shorter recovery time – People who undergo TMVR can walk about six hours after the procedure and are often discharged the next day.
  • Fewer complications – TMVR reduces the risk of surgical complications and is a good option for people who can’t undergo open-heart surgery.
  • Reduced hospitalizations – A leaky mitral valve can cause shortness of breath, resulting in a trip to the ER. TMVR reduces symptoms and hospitalizations.
  • Increased longevity – TMVR improves heart function and can help people with heart problems live longer.

What's the MitraClip Procedure?

The MitraClip procedure is a type of TMVR. A catheter guided through the femoral artery delivers the MitraClip device to the heart. Imaging equipment is used to place the clip, which holds the edges of the leaky valve (leaflets) together in the right position. Once the MitraClip is in place, it allows the mitral valve to close more tightly and the heart to pump blood more efficiently. 

MitraClip Procedure:  What to Expect

TMVR with MitraClip involves general anesthesia, so you’ll be asleep during the procedure. A breathing tube is inserted, but it’s removed afterward. TMVR is performed on a beating heart with the help of x-ray and 3D ultrasound imaging. Three Mercy physicians participate in the procedure – an interventional cardiologist, a cardiac imaging specialist and a cardiothoracic surgeon.

MitraClip Procedure:  Post Op Care

Recovery is minimal following the MitraClip procedure. An overnight hospital stay on a regular telemetry (heart) floor is required, but you won’t need ICU care. You’re usually discharged the next day and can return to regular activity in 48 hours.

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