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Home | News | Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus 1st to offer device for patients with Mitral Valve Disease

Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus 1st to offer device for patients with Mitral Valve Disease

Officials with the Hospitals of Providence announced that their Sierra Campus is the first in El Paso to offer the minimally invasive mitral valve repair using the MitraClip procedure as an option for patients who are too high-risk for traditional open heart surgery.

“With this technology we are seeing a reduction in the need for invasive open heart surgery,” said Dr. Chalam Mulukutla, board-certified interventional cardiologist, who performed the procedure.  “We are excited to be bringing new treatment options to El Paso to help heart patients get back to their everyday life.”

The condition, called mitral regurgitation (MR), is the most common heart valve disease.  A leak in the mitral valve occurs when the flaps, or doors, do not close completely, allowing blood to flow back into the heart as it pumps.  The heart has to work harder, as a result, to keep blood flowing and can raise the risk for life-threatening stroke and heart failure.

When MR becomes severe, it can profoundly affect a person’s quality of life by causing shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and other debilitating symptoms.  Mitral regurgitation affects more than 4 million Americans – nearly one in 10 people aged 75 and above.

MitraClip, made by Abbott Vascular, repairs the mitral valve without the need for an invasive surgical procedure.  The device is guided into place using a thin tube (or catheter) through a small incision in a leg vein.  The clip is then attached to the flaps of the mitral valve to help it close more completely and restore normal blood flow.  Patients tend to have a short hospital stay and experience improved heart function and symptoms almost immediately.

“With this technology we are seeing a reduction in the need for invasive open heart surgery,” said Dr. Chalam Mulukutla, board-certified interventional cardiologist, who performed the procedure.  “We are excited to be bringing new treatment options to El Paso to help heart patients get back to their everyday life.”

Medications for the condition only assist with symptom management and do not stop the progression of the disease, so typically open heart mitral valve surgery is the standard of care treatment.

Hospital officials add that, now that the MitraClip device has been approved for U.S. patients with severe symptomatic degenerative MR, the number of invasive mitral valve surgeries performed may be reduced.

“The Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus is proud to be the first hospital in El Paso to offer patients suffering from mitral valve disease a nonsurgical treatment option,” said Rob J. Anderson, chief executive officer for The Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus.  “We are excited to be able to continue the expansion of our cardiac services to the El Paso community and offering this new treatment option for many of our heart failure patients.”

Earlier this year,officials at the Sierra Campus announced they performed the first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) case to treat patients with aortic stenosis.

The campus was also recognized as one of ten hospitals in the nation to be designated as a HeartCARE Center of Excellence.

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