Mitral Valve Treatment Offers an Alternative to Open-Heart Surgery

June 17, 2021

Article submitted courtesy of Nauman Jahangir, MD, FACS, Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery at Spring Valley and Summerlin hospitals.

Image of hospital workers in masks and gowns.

Heart valve disease is a significant cause of illness and death among elderly people. Traditionally, this has been addressed with conventional open-heart surgery. With advances in technology, a number of less-invasive procedures are now available for some patients. Leading among these is transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which we have offered at Spring Valley Hospital for a few years, with excellent outcomes. For mitral valve disease, minimally invasive mitral valve repair and replacement surgery has been offered at Spring Valley Hospital as well.

What Does the Mitral Valve Treatment Entail?

Some patients, who have severe mitral valve regurgitation (i.e., “leaky valve”), are not good candidates for open-heart surgery. For them, we now offer transcatheter mitral valve repair (MitraClip™). This is a reliable, minimally invasive procedure that provides relief of heart failure symptoms in patients with severe mitral valve regurgitation who would not be able to undergo surgical valve repair or replacement.

The procedure combines elements of cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, and is performed in the specially designed hybrid operating room at Spring Valley Hospital. In order to repair the leaking mitral valve, a small catheter is passed into the heart and used to deliver a small device that improves function of the leaking valve. This is guided by X-rays and transesophageal echocardiography, which uses high-frequency sound waves to make pictures of the heart.

The cardiac anesthesiologist is an integral part of the operative team. On average, the procedure takes two to three hours to complete and is generally very safe with a low risk of complications. MitraClip is the latest addition to the wide variety of cardiovascular surgery procedures available at Spring Valley Hospital. It’s part of our ongoing endeavor to provide quality care to our patients as a leading provider of heart disease services in Las Vegas.

TAVR: Less-Invasive Heart Valve Repair

A condition known as aortic stenosis can occur when there is a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve. This may cause symptoms like chest pain and trouble breathing. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may offer a less-invasive treatment for aortic stenosis for qualifying patients.

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you.