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Hartford Hospital Doctors Become First in Connecticut to Implant New Device for Patients with Mitral Valve Disease

June 03, 2014

Hartford, CT – A team of doctors at Hartford Hospital are setting the pace in targeting mitral valve disease (mitral regurgitation) by being the first to provide a breakthrough new treatment option for patients too frail to undergo open heart surgery. 

MitraClip® is a revolutionary approach, recently approved by the FDA, designed to provide symptom relief from this debilitating, progressive and life-threatening condition.

Mitral regurgitation is a leaky mitral valve which causes a backflow of blood in the heart. It is a serious condition that can cause irregular heartbeats that can lead to stroke and heart failure. It affects almost 2 million Americans – many of them age 75 and above. 

“We see many patients with severe mitral regurgitation who would not be able to safely undergo such an invasive treatment as open heart surgery,” explains Dr. Paul Thompson, director of cardiology, Hartford Hospital. “Now, we can provide treatment for this specific population without the risk of a big operation. It is significantly improving the lives of many patients with previously untreatable mitral valve disease. It is groundbreaking therapy.”

MitraClip is a device delivered to the heart through the femoral vein, a blood vessel in the leg. Once it is implanted, it allows the heart to pump blood more efficiently, relieving symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life. Since MitraClip is a minimally invasive treatment, the recovery time and hospital stay is shortened too, compared to open heart surgery where the process is much longer.

About Hartford Hospital
Hartford Hospital, founded in 1854, is one of the largest teaching hospitals and tertiary care centers in New England with one of the region's busiest surgery practices. It is annually ranked among America's Best Hospitals by US News & World Report and has been recognized nationally for the quality of many of its programs, including cardiology, cancer, stroke and joint and spine care. The 867-bed regional referral center provides high-quality care in all clinical disciplines. Among its divisions is The Institute of Living, a 114-bed
mental health facility with a national and international reputation of excellence. Jefferson House, a 104-bed long-term care facility, is also a special division of Hartford Hospital. The hospital’s major centers of clinical excellence include cardiology, oncology, emergency services and trauma, mental health, women’s health, orthopedics, bloodless surgery and advanced organ transplantation. Hartford Hospital owns
and operates the state’s only air ambulance system, LIFE STAR.

Hartford Hospital