A cardiology team at Asan Medical Center (AMC) completed the country’s first successful MitraClip procedure on an 82-year-old male patient with mitral regurgitation, the hospital said Wednesday.
The team led by Professors Park Duk-woo, Kim Dae-hee, and Kang Do-yoon from the Department of Cardiology performed the procedure.
“We are seeing a rise in the number of patients with heart disease due to an aging society,” said Professor Park Duk-woo. “The MitraClip surgery could serve as a good alternative to surgical treatment for patients who are not suitable for open-heart surgery.”
The 82-year old patient who received the MitraClip procedure had, in addition to mitral regurgitation, other conditions such as aortic stenosis, aortic atherosclerosis, atrial fibrillation, and renal failure.
In consideration of the patient’s conditions, the AMC team said it used two MitraClips on the mitral valve for the procedure without thoracotomy to ensure patient safety. The patient had a short recovery time and was discharged five days after the procedure.
“The MitraClip procedure requires 3D ultrasound to confirm the exact position of the clip and the anatomical structure of the mitral valve in real time,” Professor Kim Dae-hee said. “We got great results thanks to AMC’s integrated medical care system and the team’s extensive interventional and echocardiographic experience."
Abbott first introduced the MitraClip in 2003, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2013. The Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety approved the MitraClip last year, allowing for its use starting this year.
With the introduction of the MitraClip, doctors can now treat patients with severe mitral regurgitation with the less-invasive procedure, according to AMC. Previously, most of these patients only had the treatment option of invasive surgery such as an open-heart thoracotomy.
Mitral regurgitation refers to a condition in which the heart’s mitral valve doesn’t fully close, leading to the backward flow of blood into the heart. If the condition is severe, blood can’t move through the heart or the rest of the body, making the patient feel tired or out of breath.