Mitral valve regurgitation – caused by a faulty heart valve that leaks blood instead of circulating it through the body – is the most common type of heart valve disease. About half of people with the condition cannot have open-heart surgery due to other health conditions that would make surgery too risky.

Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center is the first hospital in Montgomery County to offer an alternative solution – a minimally invasive procedure called MitraClip. During the procedure, a cardiologist can fix the leaky valve without performing open-heart surgery.

“The MitraClip procedure can add years to patients’ lives, eliminate their symptoms and get them back to active living with a quick recovery,” said Fayaz Shawl, MD, director of Interventional Cardiology, who performed the first MitraClip procedure at Washington Adventist Hospital and offers a variety of minimally invasive treatments.

How MitraClip Works

Mitral valve regurgitation is a serious heart condition that causes fatigue, fainting, inability to exercise, shortness of breath and dry cough, which can lead to heart failure if left untreated.

MitraClip can repair the valve by using a clip the size of a dime to stop the leak and allow the heart to pump blood to the body normally. The clip is inserted by sliding a tube, called a catheter, through a small incision in an artery near the groin. The clip is then guided to the heart and positioned where it is needed.

Innovations in Heart Care

MitraClip isn’t the only addition to a variety of innovative, minimally invasive heart procedures offered at Washington Adventist Hospital. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedures also treat aortic valve disease without open-heart surgery.

“Whenever possible, we offer the least invasive treatment for a variety of complex heart conditions to meet our patients’ individual needs,” said David Brill, MD, an interventional cardiologist with Adventist Medical Group, who performs TAVR, MitraClip and an array of minimally invasive heart procedures.

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