SPHP Offering Minimally Invasive Treatment Option for Leaky Hearts

MitraClip Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair

The interventional cardiology team at St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) is now performing transcatheter mitral valve repair with MitraClip therapy to treat mitral regurgitation. This minimally invasive treatment is an option for symptomatic patients who are unable to undergo open-heart surgery.

Dr. Michael Martinelli

Michael Martinelil, M.D.

“This procedure is especially beneficial for the elderly, or patients with other serious medical conditions, who would not be candidates for mitral valve surgery,” said Michael Martinelli, M.D., an interventional cardiologist with Albany Associates in Cardiology, a practice of St. Peter’s Health Partners Medical Associates.

Mitral regurgitation occurs when the heart’s mitral valve fails, causing blood to leak backward inside the heart. This condition places extra stress on the heart and lungs, which can lead to shortness of breath, an enlarged heart, and in more severe cases, heart failure.

While treatment for the condition can include medications to help manage symptoms, repairing or replacing the valve typically requires open-heart surgery. For patients who are not candidates for surgery, due to their age or other underlying health concern, transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) with MitraClip therapy is now an option.

MitraClip DeviceUnlike surgery, the MitraClip procedure does not require opening the chest and temporarily stopping the heart. Instead, doctors access the mitral valve by guiding a catheter through the femoral vein in the leg to reach the heart. They then clip the dime-sized MitraClip onto the valve, allowing it to close more completely to help restore normal blood flow. Because the procedure is done through a vein and not an artery, recovery is typically much faster. Patients can often go home the next day and resume normal activities shortly thereafter.

“The patient experiences almost immediate symptom relief,” Dr. Martinelli said. “More importantly, their hospitalizations for heart failure are significantly reduced and their lifestyle greatly improved. When they are able to do more, they exercise more and, as a consequence, improve their overall cardiac health.”

MitraClipMitraClip manufacturer, Abbott Vascular, reports that as of July 2017, more than 50,000 patients worldwide have been treated with the device. Clinical data shows patients who underwent the MitraClip procedure demonstrated an immediate reduction of mitral regurgitation and a low hospital length of stay of 2.9 days. They also reported a 73-percent reduction in hospital visits for heart failure.

“The interventional cardiology team at St. Peter’s Health Partners offers the most advanced therapy for coronary and structural heart disease,” said Steven Hanks, M.D., MMM, FACP, FFSMB, chief clinical officer at SPHP. “The addition of this specialized procedure further demonstrates the team’s dedication to delivering the best possible care for our cardiovascular patients.”

Since opening in 1985, St. Peter’s Cardiac and Vascular Center has been recognized for excellence by health and heart care organizations across the country. Led by a premier team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and vascular specialists, the center is a leader in the Capital Region and one of the most active centers in New York state for the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of individuals with cardiac and vascular disease.

St. Peter’s Hospital is listed among the top 10 percent of America’s Heart Surgery Hospitals (Society of Thoracic Surgeons); a recipient of Women’s Choice Award for America’s Best Hospitals in Heart Care since 2015; listed among the top six hospitals in the northeastern United States for outcomes from both heart bypass surgery and aortic valve replacement (Consumer Reports); and a designated Heart and Stroke Emergency Center by the New York State Department of Health.

Learn more about cardiac and vascular services at St. Peter’s Hospital at: http://www.sphp.com/cardiac-vascular-sph

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