The mitral valve, one of four valves in the heart, ensures that blood moves in the correct direction throughout the heart. If the valve doesn’t work properly, the heart can weaken, leading to life-threatening disease.
Traditionally, replacing a heart valve requires a complex open-heart surgery. In June 2020, however, Sharp Memorial Hospital became the first hospital in San Diego to replace a mitral valve through a minimally invasive approach.
Sharp Memorial is part of a national clinical trial testing a new device that can replace mitral valves through the bottom tip of the heart, which doctors can reach through a small incision under the ribs.
Called a transcatheter mitral valve replacement, this procedure offers another treatment option for patients with mitral regurgitation, a common condition in which the mitral valve does not close completely, causing blood to flow backward and leak into the left atrium of the heart.
“This technology is amazing,” says Dr. Raghava Gollapudi, an interventional cardiologist who was part of the medical team that implanted the first device at Sharp. “We are excited about the possibility of another solution for our patients with mitral valve regurgitation when surgery is not an option.”
Watch the video to learn more about transcatheter mitral valve replacement and meet the patient who received the first one in San Diego.
For the news media: To talk with Dr. Raghava Gollapudi about transcatheter mitral valve replacement for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.