Minimally-invasive procedure repairs leaky heart valves for high-risk patients

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Did you know that nearly 10% of people aged 75 and older suffer from a leaky heart valve? Also known as mitral regurgitation, this is a disease of the mitral valve, a door-like structure within the heart that opens and closes to circulate blood. When this door has a hard time closing, it causes leakage of blood into the lungs.

This condition can greatly reduce a person's quality of life causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue and undue stress on the heart. Many patients are poor candidates for traditional surgical repair.

For these high-risk patients, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare offers a minimally-invasive alternative to open heart surgery using a device called a MitraClip.

The MitraClip is inserted through a vein via catheter and does not require open heart surgery. The MitraClip attaches to the faulty valve and reduces the regurgitation of blood into the lungs. This procedure is not only effective, patients are often discharged from the hospital the very next day.

Dr. Pablo Rengifo-Moreno is an Interventional Cardiologist at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare who performs this procedure. He recommends the MitraClip as an alternative for patients who have been deemed too high risk for surgery.

To learn more about heart care at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, visit tmh.org/heart.