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John Muir Health to offer breakthrough device for patients with debilitating heart valve disease

Physicians at John Muir Health are among the first in Northern California to offer patients suffering from mitral regurgitation (MR), a breakthrough new minimally invasive treatment option. Performed at John Muir Medical Center, Concord, percutaneous mitral valve repair, or MitraClip, has been approved for US patients with severe symptomatic degenerative MR who are at prohibitive risk for open heart, mitral valve surgery

Physicians at John Muir Health successfully performed their first MitraClip procedure on June 11 and have a number of procedures slated in the coming weeks.

Degenerative MR is caused by an anatomic defect of the mitral valve of the heart. It’s a debilitating, progressive and life-threatening disease in which a leaky mitral valve causes a backward flow of blood in the heart.

MR is common, affecting more than 4 million Americans – nearly one in 10 people aged 75 and above.1 The condition can raise the risk of irregular heartbeats, stroke, and heart failure.

Open heart mitral valve surgery is the gold standard treatment, but many patients are at prohibitive risk for the invasive procedure based on certain factors, such as age and physical condition. Medications for the condition are limited to symptom management and do not stop the progression of the disease.

Abbott Vascular’s MitraClip procedure repairs the mitral valve without the need for open heart surgery. The device is delivered to the heart through the femoral vein, a blood vessel in the leg, and once implanted, allows the heart to pump blood more efficiently, thereby relieving symptoms and improving patient quality of life.

Patients undergoing MitraClip treatment typically experience short recovery times and short hospital stays, which are generally less than 48 hours.

John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties.

The health system offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics and high-risk obstetrics care.