Dr. Oz de­vice al­lows quick and ef­fec­tive mi­tral valve re­pair

Texarkana Gazette - - ADVICE - By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Imag­ine that you are chron­i­cally fa­tigued and short of breath even when ly­ing down. Your legs and an­kles are swollen, and you have an in­creased heart rate. These are symp­toms that al­most 6 mil­lion Amer­i­cans may con­tend with be­cause they have heart fail­ure—the in­abil­ity of the heart to pump enough blood through­out the body to keep or­gans and tis­sue healthy and happy.

If you have this con­di­tion, it can cause the heart mus­cle to weaken and stretch out like an overblown bal­loon. That pulls apart the mi­tral valve—its job is to open and close the door be­tween the heart’s up­per left-hand cham­ber (the atrium) and the lower cham­ber (the ven­tri­cle). When that hap­pens, the flow of oxy­gen-rich blood out of your heart to the rest of your body backs up, and you de­velop what’s called mi­tral re­gur­gi­ta­tion. Your symp­toms worsen and your risk of death from heart fail­ure in­creases.

But if a sur­geon can fix the valve, even if the heart can­not be re­placed, your well-be­ing will im­prove greatly. Un­for­tu­nately, un­til now, heart fail­ure with mi­tral valve re­gur­gi­ta­tion of­ten made mi­tral valve re­pair or re­place­ment nec­es­sary, com­plete with crack­ing open your ribcage and stop­ping your heart so that sur­geons can go deep in­side it. These are risky pro­ce­dures, es­pe­cially for peo­ple who have heart fail­ure. Not sur­pris­ingly, many pa­tients are not able to un­dergo the pro­ce­dures. They sim­ply have to live with the chronic, se­vere symp­toms, mak­ing fre­quent and ex­pen­sive hos­pi­tal read­mis­sions nec­es­sary.

But what if doc­tors de­vel­oped a stealthy treat­ment that al­lowed them to sneak in­side your heart with­out the trauma and risk of open heart surgery? That would be ter­rific, and they have!

In a stun­ning ex­am­ple of med­i­cal in­no­va­tion, doc­tors, en­gi­neers and en­trepreneurs worked for two decades to de­velop the Mi­traClip. The clip is at­tached to your sag­ging mi­tral valve and al­lows the valve to once again open and then close com­pletely in syn­chro­niza­tion with your beat­ing heart.

This dime-size de­vice was orig­i­nally con­ceived by Dr. Oz in 1996. It is based on in­sights into the work­ings of the mi­tral valve by an Ital­ian sur­geon named An­to­nio Al­fieri. Says Dr. Oz: “Al­fieri ex­plained that the mi­tral valve works like a zip­per, and when it fails in this way, all sur­geons need to do is place one stitch to restart the clos­ing process. Once stitched, the faulty valve nat­u­rally snaps shut again on its own!

“I kept think­ing, if we only need one stitch, I should be smart enough to cre­ate a non­in­va­sive process us­ing a catheter to ac­com­plish this goal, like we do with the place­ment of a heart stent.

“My col­leagues and I at Co­lum­bia Univer­sity im­me­di­ately patented the de­vice. In 2003, with a re­mark­ably cre­ative team led by Ferolyn Pow­ell, we re­leased a de­vice which we’ve used at my NewYork-Pres­by­te­rian Hos­pi­tal and around the world—in 30,000 im­plants since then.”

But there had been some re­sis­tance to us­ing the de­vice, be­cause large clin­i­cal tri­als hadn’t yet demon­strated suc­cess. Well, that’s old news now.

In a re­cently pub­lished study in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Medicine, lead au­thor Greg Stone (Dr. Oz’s col­league from NewYorkPres­by­te­rian) and dozens of col­lab­o­ra­tors pub­lished ev­i­dence of the Mi­traClip’s ef­fec­tive­ness.

Their study fol­lowed 614 pa­tients (303 re­ceived the de­vice; the rest re­ceived stan­dard treat­ments). Over two years, those re­ceiv­ing the clip saw their risk of get­ting ad­mit­ted to the hos­pi­tal cut in half! Even more im­por­tantly, over five years of fol­low-up, the de­vice re­duced the risk of death in those re­ceiv­ing the clip by an as­tound­ing 38 per­cent!

“The trial proved for the first time, with­out a shadow of a doubt, that the de­vice works,” says Dr. Oz. And, he says, this life-sav­ing de­vice’s jour­ney from con­cept to ac­qui­si­tion, and re­search sup­port from a ma­jor pharma com­pany, Ab­bott, “epit­o­mizes how this coun­try sup­ports med­i­cal in­no­va­tion.” The re­sult? Lives saved, qual­ity of life en­hanced, med­i­cal costs re­duced. Win. Win. Win.

Dr. Mehmet Oz re­ceives roy­al­ties from the use of Mi­traClip de­vices.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Well­ness Of­fi­cer and Chair of Well­ness In­sti­tute at Cleve­land Clinic. To live your health­i­est, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit share­care.com.

(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

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