New heart valve surgery performed in Las Vegas

A new type of heart surgery that uses a tiny clip to mend leaking valves has arrived in Nevada.

Pahrump resident Gary Wilson, 79, on Wednesday became the first patient in the state to have the device, known as a MitraClip, inserted in his heart.

The procedure, performed at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, offers a new option for patients who suffer from leaky heart valves but aren’t eligible for open-heart surgery to repair the problem for various reasons. It’s specifically used to treat a condition known as severe degenerative mitral regurgitation, which occurs when blood leaks backward into the heart due to problems with the mitral valve.

Wilson, a retiree who struggled with shortness of breath and had difficulty walking for extended periods, said he hoped the surgery would allow him to help his wife around the house and do the outdoor activities he loves but hasn’t been able to participate in since last spring.

Within hours of the procedure, he was up and walking, he said Thursday.

“I could walk three times as far as I used to walk and (I’m) not getting short of breath,” he said.

Approved by the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2013, the MitraClip can relieve symptoms from the condition — including shortness of breath, fatigue, light-headedness and a rapid, fluttering heartbeat — by restoring a more normal blood flow.

Typically, the two flaps of the mitral valve open to allow blood to flow from the heart’s upper-left chamber to the chamber below it. But when the valve doesn’t close properly, blood can flow back into the upper chamber, a process known as regurgitation.

PROBLEM AFFECTS MILLIONS

Insertion of the MitraClip, developed by the Abbott medical products company, seals the flaps of the valve to reduce leaking while allowing blood to flow through normally.

According to a 2009 study, mitral regurgitation affects over 2 million people in the United States. It’s not known how many Southern Nevadans suffer from the condition or would be eligible for the surgery.

Minor or mild regurgitation can cause few to no symptoms and be treated with medication, but severe regurgitation can lead to a buildup of fluid in the lungs or even heart failure.

Though the severe form is often treated with an open-heart surgery, some patients with prior conditions and surgeries don’t qualify for that procedure. The MitraClip surgery is approved for those patients.

The surgery begins with a catheter inserted through a vein in the lower body, rather than with an open-chest approach. The catheter is then guided into the heart and the clip inserted to close the flaps, almost like a staple.

Interventional cardiologist Dr. Nayab Zafar of the Heart Center of Nevada, who led the surgery alongside cardiovascular-thoracic surgeon Bashir Chowdhry, described the procedure as a step forward for Nevada patients with serious mitral regurgitation.

“We were sending our patients all the way over to California, Arizona, Utah, and some people couldn’t travel,” Zafar said.

“They didn’t have resources, so we decided to bring this procedure to the state.”

The surgery isn’t intended to extend life spans so much as improve patients’ lives, Zafar added.

“Most of the things we do are aimed at improving quality of life,” he said. “That’s the goal.”

Some patients with a propensity for blood clots or weakened hearts are not eligible for the surgery, which generally takes 2½ to three hours.

The cost of the surgery was not disclosed, though it is generally covered by insurance, according to a Sunrise hospital spokeswoman.

VOLUNTARY SAFETY NOTICE

Use of the MitraClip is not without risk. A voluntary safety notice was issued several months ago by the manufacturer following a series of errors during implantation surgeries.

The errors were caused by confusion over how to properly detach the clip from the delivery system inside the heart and required open-heart surgeries to retrieve the delivery system, according to the notice.

Nine malfunctioning devices and one death were reported.

As a result, Abbott implemented additional training for physicians and revised its deployment sequence instructions.

Overall, more than 35,000 of the procedures have been performed globally, according to an Abbott spokeswoman.

Zafar, who said Wilson was expected to be released from the hospital Friday, witnessed multiple MitraClip surgeries before performing one on his own so he could learn about proper deployment of the device.

He said Chowdhry was in the room during the procedure to ensure any complications could be dealt with quickly and to lessen the risk of a malfunctioning device or other serious complication.

Wilson said he was aware of the risks associated with the procedure, which also include infection, excessive bleeding and possible puncturing of the heart, but believes the risk was worth it.

“I’m very, very lucky,” he said. “I’m anxious to go home and do things. There’s so many little things I’ve been putting off.”

Contact Pashtana Usufzy at pusufzy@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563. Follow @pashtana_u on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Life
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like