When open-heart surgery was not an option, MitraClip® was his only hope
In January 2016, Carl Glass, 70, started to feel weak, had no energy and would fall asleep right after breakfast and sleep until noon. Having a history of heart issues and previous heart surgery, he saw his cardiologist. He was referred to Alessandro Golino, MD, Cardiac Surgeon and Immediate Past Chief of Staff at Manatee Memorial Hospital, an hour away.
Dr. Golino examined Carl and found he had severe mitral regurgitation (MR). This occurs when the mitral valve in the heart does not completely close, causing blood to leak. “Mr. Glass was evaluated for open-heart surgery, which is the standard of care for patients with MR,” says Dr. Golino. “He was not a candidate because his heart valves had degenerated and it would have been very risky. But he was a candidate for the MitraClip®.”
S. Jay Mathews, MD, MS, FACC, an interventional cardiologist on Manatee Memorial’s MitraClip team who performed the procedure on January 27, 2016, says it is an imaging-driven process, using a cardiac catheter and transesophageal echocardiography. “The MitraClip is inserted through the catheter and maneuvered into the mitral valve through micro-movements. Right after the clip was inserted, we watched Mr. Glass’s left atrial pressure drop in half and saw the leaking stop,” says Dr. Mathews. “That is how we know it is working – we see the results right there.”
Dr. Mathews says inserting the MitraClip usually takes about 30-45 minutes. “Patients usually come in the day before and go home the day after the procedure. Pain and bruising are minimal - just a stitch where they inserted the catheter. For some patients, the MitraClip is considered a permanent fix because it is their only option,” states Dr. Mathews.
Carl says it was the best two days he ever spent in a hospital, from pre-test to after his procedure. “This is one fine hospital! It looked like a hotel,” says Carl. “The care was top-shelf, it couldn’t have been any better. This is definitely the place to be if you have to be in a hospital. Every person, even the maintenance people, asked if there was anything they could do for me.”
Today, Carl says he feels like a brand new man. Before the MitraClip, he couldn’t ride his bike, but now, he rides about four miles a day. “I am so grateful for everything the doctors and nurses did for me. Manatee Memorial Hospital is a top-notch facility and the care I received is second to none. I am a retired maintenance worker, and I know buildings. You can tell they take pride in their hospital, and I would recommend them in a heartbeat!”
For more information about MitraClip or to find out if you might be a candidate, contact Erin Crowell, MSN, ARNP, CCRN, ACNP-BC, Valve Coordinator, at 941-745-7388 or Erin.Crowell@mmhhs.com. Also visit the Valve Institute for additional information.
Disclaimer: Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you.