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

June 03, 2014

Doctors Improving Quality of Life for Patients at Increased Risk for Surgery 

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.