UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids Heart & Vascular Institute and St. Luke’s is the first hospital in Cedar Rapids to offer a minimally invasive mitral valve repair.
The procedure is called MitraClip. The procedure is appropriate for patients diagnosed with mitral regurgitation (MR). Cardiologists at St. Luke’s started offering the treatment option for individuals who are too high risk for surgical valve repair or replacement. It’s an alternative to open heart surgery.
“The mitral valve is one of the four major heart valves, it connects the left upper chamber to the left lower chamber and has two leaflets,” said Dr. Aref Bin Abdulhak, St. Luke’s Cardiology. “Over time the mitral valve can become diseased, which results in a leaky valve. Patients suffering from a leaky valve may experience fatigue or shortness of breath.”
The MitraClip is a small clip that attaches to the mitral valve to decrease the gap between the two leaflets. As a result, the mitral valve is able to close more completely. This minimally invasive procedure is performed under general anesthesia. It involves making a small incision in the groin to use a catheter through a vein to deploy the mitral clip. It typically involves an overnight hospital stay.
“We work with the cardiothoracic surgeons to determine the best course of treatment, whether MitraClip or open heart surgery,” said Dr. Bin Abdulhak. “Patients who have the MitraClip procedure will feel better quickly and more importantly, their quality of life is better. Trials show this procedure even increases the longevity of life.”
The UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids Heart & Vascular Institute encompasses the heart care specialists and services of St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Luke’s Cardiology and the cardiovascular surgeons from Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa. This collaborative relationship allows us to invest in technology, new procedures and innovation to provide the highest quality of care with fewer complications, better outcomes and higher survival rates. Adding the minimally invasive mitral valve procedure means patients don’t need to travel outside of Cedar Rapids for heart care.