Monday, January 5, 2015

KU Hospital first in the region to offer new way to repair heart valves without open heart surgery

KANSAS CITY, Kan.—Rose Buchan fainted twice. Fortunately, both times she was near quick medical help. But doctors realized that the 83 year old Blue Springs woman, who had recently undergone heart surgery, still had a problem.

She had a condition called mitral valve regurgitation, which causes blood to flow backward in the heart. Besides causing shortness of breath, it can lead to stroke and heart failure. But because of her age, and previous heart surgery, she was not a candidate for another risky heart procedure.

But Buchan came to see Dr. Mark Wiley, an interventional cardiologist at The University of Kansas Hospital, who had good news for her. The hospital is the first in the region to offer a less invasive procedure using a device called a MitraClip. While other surgeries require chest incisions and stopping the heart, the MitraClip procedure only requires a small amount of anesthesia and a catheter.

During the procedure, a metal clip is inserted into the heart through the femoral vein, a blood vessel in the leg. The clip holds the two mitral valve leaflets together, allowing blood to move forward, not backward.

“I feel better…I have a good outlook on life now,” said Buchan. “My breathing is better, and I just feel with this I can go on forever!”

“I’m excited about the MitraClip,” said Dr. Wiley. “It gives us an opportunity for patients who were previously considered high risk and wouldn’t have been operated on, and would have been managed with just medicine. Many times they would come back to the hospital with symptoms and signs of congestive heart failure, and now we have an option for those patients.”

Wiley also said recovery time for the procedure is about one week, with a two to three day hospital stay.

The video above includes animation of the MitraClip being deployed, operating room video of a MitraClip procedure, sound from Dr. Mark Wiley talking about patient Rose Buchan, why he’s excited about the MitraClip, how it works and who it’s for. Also included is sound with patient Rose Buchan who describes how she feels after the procedure.

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