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McKay-Dee Hospital doctors excited about new treatment for heart failure patients

By Jamie Lampros - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Apr 26, 2024

BEN DORGER, Standard-Examiner file photo

McKay-Dee Hospital is seen on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Ogden.

OGDEN — Cardiologists at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital are now performing a procedure on patients with heart failure they say is not only improving lives, but saving them as well.

MitraClip is a tiny clip placed in the heart to repair a leaky mitral valve that officials say can significantly decrease the risk of heart failure patients from having to return to the hospital for additional care or even dying.

“This is a terrific treatment option for patients who are experiencing this issue,” said Dr. Eric Lindley, cardiologist and medical director of cardiovascular services at McKay-Dee. “We’re really proud to be able to offer this treatment for patients living in Northern Utah so they can get the best care close to home.”

The MitraClip is a tiny device attached to the mitral valve in the heart. One attached, it repairs the leaky valve. In patients with heart failure, the mitral valve has been deformed. This makes the heart work harder to move blood through the body.

The MitraClip procedure doesn’t require opening the chest surgically and stopping the heart temporarily. Instead, it’s a very minimally invasive procedure, which involves access to the mitral valve through a catheter. The MitraClip, which is smaller than a dime, is placed into the catheter and placed right above the damaged mitral valve. Through ultrasound guidance, the device is positioned so it can grab the two leaflets of the valve and pull them together, thus allowing the side of the valve to open and close properly.

The mitral valve is one of four valves in the heart responsible for keeping blood flow going in the right direction. Each valve has flaps, or leaflets, that open once during each heartbeat. When the valve doesn’t open or close properly, blood flow can be reduced through the heart into the body, Lindley said.

According to the American Heart Association, about half of people who develop heart failure die within five years of diagnosis. In severe mitral valve regurgitation, the heart works harder to pump enough blood to the body. This extra work causes the left lower heart chamber to enlarge, causing the heart muscle to become weak, if left untreated. This can lead to heart failure.

The MitraClip is an effective solution to the problem, Lindley said.


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