Mitral clip opens up cardiac care options

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Open-heart surgery can be too risky for some cardiac patients – so Greenslopes Private Hospital has invested in new mitral clip technology to give Brisbane residents more treatment options.

By repairing damaged mitral valves via a leg vein instead of through the chest, surgeons can now provide better outcomes including shorter recovery time, reduced medication and smaller likelihood of repeat heart failure.

Cardiologist Dr Roland Hilling-Smith performed the first mitral clip procedure at the hospital in June 2021.

“This is the way of the future and it’s important that Greenslopes Private is part of that frontier to be offering the full range of cardiac care,” he said. 

“It’s a wonderful advancement because it’s opened up the possibility of treatment for people who didn’t previously have that option.” 

The procedure involves attaching a small metal clip to the leaking mitral valve, closing it tightly to stop blood flowing backwards into the heart’s upper chamber and towards the lungs.

Previously, open-heart surgery was the only option to treat the condition, which can lead to an irregular heartbeat, heart failure or chest pain. 

“The patients recover incredibly well from the procedure,” Dr Hilling-Smith said. 

“They’re usually only in hospital for two days and then back home, their heart is beating better, they’re on fewer tablets and they’re not going to keep coming back to hospital with heart failure.  

“It improves their independence and quality of life and they may be able to stay out of nursing homes for longer. For the patient and their families, that’s incredibly important.” 

Greenslopes Private Hospital has 18 years’ experience in cardiac surgery, and CEO Chris Went said it was important to keep expanding the services available to patients. 

“Our cardiovascular suites undertake more elective and urgent cases than any other private hospital on Brisbane’s southside, and we’re very proud of the incredible work that our specialists, nurses and theatre staff provide to give patients exceptional care,” she said. 

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