How does my doctor determine if I have mitral regurgitation?
To determine if you have mitral regurgitation and to assess the function and condition of your heart and mitral valve, your cardiologist may perform diagnostic evaluations including:
How will my doctors decide if I am a candidate for the MitraClip procedure?
- Taking a chest x-ray to see the size and shape of your heart and evaluate your lungs
- Evaluating you for symptoms of congestive heart failure (such as shortness of breath or fatigue) or other related heart conditions
You will be evaluated by a specially trained heart team at a MitraClip treating center, including a cardiac surgeon and a cardiologist, who will review your medical history and perform a variety of tests. There are several factors they will take into consideration when deciding whether or not you are too sick for heart surgery, and therefore a possible candidate for MitraClip therapy, such as your age, frailty, and the condition of your heart.
What is the MitraClip device made of?
The MitraClip device is a small metal clip covered with a polyester fabric that is implanted on your mitral valve. The clip is inserted through a catheter, without the need to temporarily stop your heart. There can be up to 4 different clip sizes used to tailor your clip size to your valve.
How long before I feel the effects of the MitraClip procedure?
Clinical data from patients who underwent the MitraClip procedure demonstrate an immediate reduction of mitral regurgitation. You should experience significant improvement in your symptoms of mitral regurgitation and quality of life soon after your procedure. It is important to discuss what to expect following the procedure with your Structural Heart Team.
Will I be able to feel the MitraClip implant in my heart?
No, you will not be able to feel the implant.
Will I be prescribed any medications following the MitraClip procedure?
Your doctor or nurse will give you instructions about your medications before you leave the hospital.
Who should not have the MitraClip procedure?
Your doctor may decide that the MitraClip procedure is not appropriate for you if you:
- Cannot tolerate medications that thin the blood or prevent blood clots from forming
- Have an active infection or inflammation of the mitral valve
- Have mitral valve disease as a result of rheumatic fever
- Have a blood clot in your heart or in the vessels that carry blood from the lower body to the heart
- Your doctor should discuss with you if you have any of these issues that would prevent you from having the MitraClip procedure. An evaluation of your heart will also confirm if your heart valve anatomy would allow for successful placement of the device.