Mitral lifesaving surgeries


London – An innovative technique, currently available only into Cardiology department of Calabria University in Catanzaro, that allow to repair the mitral valve with a sort of microscope stapler which, introduced by a leg vein, repair diseased valve has been used at the University Hospital on a 67-years-old woman already operated by-pass grafting surgery, suffering from a severe form of heart failure caused by severe mitral valve insufficiency.

This disease, which prevented the patient to perform a normal daily life, including the usual household chores, has been successfully treated by Cardiology University of Catanzaro. Mitral valve insufficiency is a heart valve disease more frequently reflected in the Western world, with an incidence of 250,000 new cases/year in Europe.

If untreated it determines the onset of a vicious cycle that culminates in heart failure and crippling death. Until today the only possible treatment was to cardiac surgery: in fact, after opening the chest and stopping the heart, you can successfully repair or replace the mitral valve. 

However, due to the high risk associated with cardiac surgery in some patients in serious conditions, the operation cannot be performed because too risky.

The experience of reduction of mitral regurgitation using this new and innovative technique, called MitraClip, arises from the need to offer a therapeutic possibility to many patients with mitral regurgitation and thermodynamically, to who surgical treatment is being denied due to the high operative risk, mainly age, reduced left ventricular contractile function and the presence of co-morbidities. Clinical studies have shown them a good safety profile and effectiveness of this new method.

In particular, in a study conducted in America, called the Everest II study, were obtained results comparable to surgical therapy, where the analysis of the safety profile in 30 days showed a lower incidence of death and stroke among patients treated with the MitraClip.


More importantly is the documentation of a significant improvement in quality of life and a significant reduction of symptoms for patients undergoing the MitraClip system, compared to undergo open heart surgery.
This technique, developed in the United State and then made available in Europe, now is only done in some Italian and European hospitals. The project director is Dr. Annalisa Mongiardo.