As reported two days ago, Elizabeth Taylor was to undergo a procedure to fix a leaky valve. After a little research, we had predicted that Ms. Taylor was to have a mitral valve clip procedure, trade name Mitraclip, and featured a link to a video of the procedure on our website. Mitraclip is a new procedure which may be available for those with mitral regurgitation who are unable to tolerate an open heart procedure. This was indeed the procedure she had performed on her, and according to her latest Twitter, it went quite well:
“Dear Friends, My heart procedure went off perfectly. It’s like having a brand new ticker. Thank you for your prayers and good wishes … I know they all helped. Love you, Elizabeth.”
During the Mitraclip procedure,a long catheter (tube) is inserted into a large blood vessel in the groin. The catheter is then threaded up into the heart and through to the mitral valve. Tiny clips are then passed through the catheter and attached to the leaflets of the mitral valve to tighten them up. The catheter is removed, leaving the clips in place. Another advantage of the procedure is that the postoperative recuperation time is only a couple of weeks, versus months for the open heart procedure. As of now, the procedure is still considered “experimental” but a number of clinical trials are still ongoing.