Innovative Care for Mitral Valve Regurgitation

The heart specialists at University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute provide advanced care for patients with mitral regurgitation. With our expertise and leading technologies, mitral valve regurgitation patients can reduce their symptoms and avoid life-threatening complications such as atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension and heart failure.

Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR) Procedure at UH

A less invasive option for treating mitral insufficiency is under investigation in a clinical trial at University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, the only program in Northeast Ohio to offer this technology. As part of the Apollo trial, UH patients with severe symptomatic mitral regurgitation will have the opportunity to be randomized to receive either conventional open-heart mitral valve replacement surgery or an investigational transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) procedure. In addition, patients who are not good surgical candidates could have the opportunity of being treated with TMVR.

The Apollo trial is testing the Intrepid® transcatheter mitral valve replacement system, which is compressed inside a hollow delivery catheter and is inserted between the ribs to enter the heart. The new replacement valve is expanded directly into the malfunctioning mitral valve.

As part of providing comprehensive care for patients with mitral valve disorders, University Hospitals is the only health care system in Northeast Ohio to give its patients access to the Apollo trial.

Full Spectrum of Mitral Valve Interventions

In addition to the Apollo trial, UH also offers MitraClip® therapy, valve-in-valve and other complex procedures to provide the full spectrum of mitral valve interventions.

Using transcatheter or catheter-based approach to mitral valve repair for issues such as mitral regurgitation, our team at University Hospitals brings together interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery experts for improved outcomes.

Working with a multidisciplinary approach, innovative treatments such as MitraClip® provide patient benefits with a non-surgical and minimally invasive procedure. MitraClip ® places a clip on the mitral valve to reduce or correct the regurgitation, or leakage of blood backward.

Learn More about Mitral Regurgitation

An estimated 4 million people in the U.S. are living with mitral regurgitation which is one of the most common forms of heart valve disease. Mitral regurgitation arises when your heart’s mitral valve cannot close tightly. When this occurs, blood is unable to move through your heart or to the rest of the body in an efficient manner and may leave you tired or out of breath.

Mitral regurgitation is typically caused by weakened heart muscles, mitral valve prolapse, heart valve infections, untreated high blood pressure and rheumatic heart disease.

Managing Symptoms of Mitral Regurgitation

Even small lifestyle changes can help you manage mitral valve regurgitation symptoms, but also improve your overall heart health. If you are diagnosed with this condition, our heart specialists will recommend:

  • Diet focused on heart-health: Excessive amounts of sodium can increase stress on your heart and aggravate symptoms. We’ll help you understand how to fill your diet with more fresh fruits and vegetables and less sodium and saturated fat.
  • Exercise: An easy way to keep your heart healthy is to increase your activity levels. We’ll teach you how to be more active and the amount and type of exercise that is safe for your condition.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight can increase your risk for conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure and also make your heart disease symptoms worse. Our heart specialists will help you determine an ideal weight for your body type. If necessary, we’ll create a personalized weight loss plan.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking can lead to lung and heart damage and worsen any condition symptoms. If you smoke, we can provide resources to help you quit.

Individualized Plans for Mitral Regurgitation Treatment

Each patient with mitral regurgitation is different. Therefore, our heart and vascular specialists will take the time to design an individualized treatment plan that is ideal for your particular heart valve condition.

If you have mild mitral regurgitation, we may recommend medications, close monitoring and frequent echocardiograms. However, since mitral valve regurgitation is a mechanical issue, a repair or total replacement is often the best treatment option.

Our heart surgeons are experienced in both minimally invasive and mitral valve surgery techniques, including an innovative procedure called MitraClip. If possible, we will perform a minimally invasive procedure that involves smaller incisions and allows for faster recovery.

In the event you have a severe mitral regurgitation that is more serious and requires a total mitral valve replacement surgery, we can use a mechanical valve or tissue valve. Although a mechanical valve is long lasting, it will require you to take blood thinners for the rest of your life. With tissue valve replacement, you won’t need to take blood thinners but will need to replace your valve eventually. We can help you further understand the pros and cons of each option so you can make an informed decision.

For More Information about Mitral Regurgitation Treatment

If you or someone you love has issues with heart valve disease, including mitral regurgitation, learn how our valve and structural team at University Hospitals can help. Contact one of our team members at a convenient location near you.