Mitral regurgitation is a common condition in which the heart’s mitral valve leaflets do not close tightly, usually resulting from infection or one of a few cardiovascular connective tissue diseases. When this happens, blood flows backward from the heart’s left ventricle into the left atrium. This forces the heart to work harder to push blood through the body, which can cause fatigue and shortness of breath.
Until recently, the only treatment available for mitral regurgitation was a conventional mitral valve replacement surgery, an invasive procedure with a long recovery period. After receiving a patient suffering from underlying conditions that pose an increased risk for conventional mitral valve replacement surgery, Sheba Medical Center, for the first time in Israel, has opted to perform a new breakthrough transcatheter mitral valve implantation.
The Tendyne Bioprosthetic Mitral Valve System is a novel minimally invasive procedure that offers select patients who suffer from symptomatic, significant mitral regurgitation a safe and effective valve replacement. The procedure involves a small incision in the chest between the ribs in order to gain catheter access to the heart apex.
The first transcatheter mitral valve implantation performed at Sheba was completed successfully, and the second successful implantation followed soon after.
“This innovative procedure allows us to offer patients, who until recently had no medical solution, a new hope with minimal risks,” said Prof. Israel Barabash, Director of the Catheterization Services at Sheba Medical Center.
Prof. Victor Guetta, Head of the Invasive Cardiology Unit, added: “For me, the essence of medicine is not settling for improving existing procedures, but developing new ways to treat patients with conditions that currently remain untreated.”