Health Discoveries in General Health News

Minimally invasive MitraClip device speeds heart recovery

April 20, 2011
The insertion of a tiny clothespin-like device threaded through an artery to stop mitral regurgitation may be as effective in closing a leaky heart valve as open heart surgery.

A heart health study on the catheter-enabled MitraClip, funded by its manufacturer Evalve, was presented at a recent meeting of the American College of Cardiology. One of the results was that patients needed far less recovery time in the hospital and after their release.

"After getting a MitraClip, patients spend one or two nights in the hospital versus five to seven days after open heart surgery, and they're back to full activity immediately," said Dr. Ted Feldman, director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Illinois. "Traditional open heart surgery has a recovery time of one to three months."

While survival rates were about the same for patients with MitraClips and those who opted for open heart surgery, the MitraClip patients had fewer side effects.

Researchers at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, are comparing the effectiveness of two drugs - Warfarin (coumadin), an anticoagulant, and aspirin, which keeps blood from clotting - that are used to prevent strokes and heart attacks.
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