The MitraClip is a tiny metal clip: applied as a bridge on the cusps of the mitral valve, it helps repair the defective valve which, no longer closing perfectly, allows the blood to flow backward - in part - from the left ventricle to the left atrium (mitral regurgitation).
When the traditional cardiac surgery approach (opening the chest) or the low operative trauma (minimal intercostal incision) approach is advised against - elderly patient, other concomitant diseases, see above - it is possible to “fix” the valve by reaching the heart with a catheter inserted via the femoral vein (percutaneous access).
The positioning of the “clip” - which fully recreates the manual gesture of suturing - is monitored through echocardiographic examination.
The micro-device, released in the area of the valve where the regurgitation originates, is fastened without having to stop cardiac activity and without having to resort to Extracorporeal Circulation (EC, heart-lung machine) with identical results to the classic surgical treatment. In reversing the backward flow of blood it also allows good recovery of the native valve: the damaged leaflets are realigned and fit back together. The improvement in the patient’s state of health is already visible just a few minutes after implantation.