Health Beat: A new life-saving 'clip' for the heart
Updated On: Jun 24 2014 04:36:01 PM CDT
Alice Comer is thankful to show off pictures of her grandchildren. After her second open heart surgery two years ago, her heart valve started leaking, filling her lungs with fluid. The condition is known as mitral regurgitation.
"I was in and out of the hospital about every two weeks, sometimes every week. They would take a very long needle and go in your back and draw the fluid out. It was awful,” Comer said.
But, Comer was too sick for another open heart surgery.
"They said it would kill me," she said.
Instead, Dr. Mark Stankewicz, interventional cardiologist at Saint Thomas Heart, offered her a new treatment known as Mitraclip.
A catheter is guided through the leg vein to the heart valve where the Mitraclip is sent, clipping it together.
"There is no incision. The heart is not stopped. It's beating the whole time," Stankewicz said.
It worked for Comer. No shortness of breath. No other symptoms.
"I don't feel tied down and I do about everything I want to," Comer said.
That includes spending quality time with her daughter.
Unlike traditional surgery, where patients will spend at least a week in the hospital recovering, patients with Mitraclip are generally up the same day and often go home the next day.
Mitral regurgitation affects about four million people in the United States.
Copyright 2014 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Police: Trooper accidentally killed by fellow Trooper
Police: Eric Frein spotted, explosives found
Gnat invasion bugging many residents
Game Commission bans hunting in manhunt search area
New details emerge about teacher's aide accused of driving rampage
Search for Eric Frein remains a dangerous operation
Man killed in Northampton Co. motorcycle crash
Life Lessons: 5 bizarre weight loss tricks
Search for Eric Frein focuses along Rt. 447 in Monroe County
School bus driver cited for careless driving following crash