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What is the mitral valve clip procedure?

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Quick Answer

The mitral valve clip procedure is the surgical installation of a clip onto the mitral valve of the heart to help it maintain blood flow in the right direction, according to Massachusetts General Hospital. It is especially helpful for patients for whom more extensive surgery is considered overly dangerous.

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Full Answer

The mitral valve clip procedure uses a small incision in the groin to insert the valve clip, Massachusetts General Hospital says. The clip is threaded up through a vein to reach the heart, and then attached to the most damaged area of the mitral valve, restoring a great deal of function. Surgeons use medical imaging devices to find the best place for the clip. Studies indicate that the mitral valve clip procedure is frequently effective for both degenerative and functional mitral valve regurgitation problems.

A mitral valve regurgitation problem occurs when the valve between the left atrium and the left ventricle of the heart does not seal properly, according to Massachusetts General Hospital. Normally, blood only flows from the atrium to the ventricle, after which it is pumped out when the heart contracts. With mitral valve regurgitation, when the heart contracts, some blood is forced back into the atrium from the ventricle, diminishing the heart's efficiency and eventually causing more widespread damage.

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