Dubai cardiologists claim innovative valve repair

Earlier, the standard method was an open-heart surgery to either repair or replace the valve.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 11, 2018

An 81-year-old elderly patient with a leaky mitral valve was treated by angiography using MitraClip Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair, a first for the Dubai Heart team comprising cardiologists from Dubai Hospital and Rashid Hospital.

Dr Fahd Baslaib, head of cardiology and CEO of Rashid Hospital, said: 'Very few cardiology centres in the world perform this technology. Earlier, the standard method was an open-heart surgery to either repair or replace the valve.

'However, in elderly patients or in patients with several comorbidities, the open-heart procedure is not recommended and medications only mask symptoms, instead of treating the underlying issue. Therefore, the introduction of the minimally invasive MitraClip procedure is a breakthrough, especially for patients who cannot undergo the mitral valve surgery. This procedure will help more people who previously had limited options and provides a safer method and quicker recovery period,' he said.

The MitraClip device is used for treatment of people with mitral regurgitation (MR), a serious, progressive heart disease in which the mitral valve does not close properly, allowing blood to flow backward into the heart. This causes shortness of breath, fatigue and if left untreated can ultimately lead to heart failure and death. Most people affected are elderly as MR incidence increases with age.

The first procedure in Dubai was performed last week on the Emirati patient with comorbidities such as hypertension. 'The patient was complaining of shortness of breath with minimum exertion, upon investigation we identified that he had mitral regurgitation (MR) and was the right candidate for this procedure as surgery would be too invasive for this patient,' said Dr Baslaib.

'We performed the MitraClip Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair using the angiography method. The procedure was conducted using general anesthesia and the patient was discharged with 48 hours,' he added.

More about the new procedure

The MitraClip device is used for treatment of people with mitral regurgitation (MR), a serious, progressive heart disease in which the mitral valve does not close properly, allowing blood to flow backward into the heart. Most people affected are elderly as MR incidence increases with age.

The procedure is conducted using angiography. A tiny clip (which looks like a mini clothespin) is implanted in the mitral valve to stop the excessive leakage. The chip isinserted through a tube that go from the groin to the heart. The procedure is then performed with the assistance of a transesophageal echocardiogram. This allows image and doppler evaluation from a location directly behind the heart and helps get a more clear and precise image of the transcatheter mitral valve. The procedure is conducted using general anesthesia and the patient can be discharged with 48 hours.

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