BROWNS MILLS, NJ (December 17, 2019) – Deborah Heart and Lung Center Interventionists Vincent Varghese, DO and Richard Kovach, MD, successfully performed the first two MitraClip™ procedures at the hospital.
MitraClip is a new minimally-invasive treatment for patients’ whose mitral valve is leaking, causing what is medically referred to as mitral regurgitation. Mitral regurgitation occurs when the mitral valve no longer closes properly between the two left chambers of the heart, causing blood to flow in the wrong direction. This makes the heart work much harder pumping blood and can cause an enlarged and weakened heart eventually leading to heart failure. Patients with mitral regurgitation tire easily, retain fluid, lose their appetite, and often have shortness of breath. These symptoms can worsen over time.
Open heart surgical mitral valve repair or replacement has long been the primary treatment option.
MitraClip was developed for patients who are too high of a risk for an open heart surgery. The new device is advanced to the heart through a catheter inserted into the femoral vein, and the device “clips” together the mitral valve leaflets to significantly reduce – or even stop – the amount of blood flowing in the wrong direction through the leaking valve.
“Kudos to the entire team here at Deborah for successfully adding this game-changing technology to our repertoire of advanced cardiovascular technologies,” said Dr. Varghese. “To now be able to help patients suffering with a leaky mitral valve with prohibitive surgical risk is a huge step forward in patient care. This now puts an effective therapy within many more patients’ reach.”
Dr. Kovach agreed. “It is remarkable to see how quickly patients recover after the procedure, and the almost immediate reduction of their valve insufficiency. This breakthrough offers hope to patients who had none before.”