May 25, 2015

A patient’s story how Abbott’s MitraClip corrected her mitral valve regurgitation

Degenerative Mitral regurgitation (DMR) is caused when the leaflets of the mitral valve do not close properly, allowing blood to flow backward and leak into the left atrium of the heart. A leaky heart valve can increase the pressure on the heart and, over time, result in heart failure

Abbott’s MitraClip treats mitral regurgitation. As referred to above, this condition where the mitral valve of the heart does not close properly can result in blood leakage that can lead to stroke, heart attack, or even death.

Meet Betty V.
Betty is a patient who overcame Degenerative Mitral Regurgitation with an Abbott Mitral Clip, procedure, and was kind enough to take the time to share the story about her experience with DMR. I know you’ll find it very inspiring!

My interview with Betty V:

VICKI: What were your symptoms and when did you first notice them?

BETTY: Three years ago, I began experiencing symptoms of a common, yet serious condition called degenerative mitral regurgitation. Going up and down stairs, I couldn’t breathe and would become lightheaded and terribly tired.

VICKI: What actually happened that made you talk to your doctor?

BETTY: I had to quit working in my yard and going for daily walks. My cardiologist told me to “live with it.” But I felt it wasn’t living, rather, I was existing. I kept thinking it would go away until I found myself lying on my steps completely out of breath. After that, I knew I needed to do something. So I found a new cardiologist who listened to me.

VICKI: That had to be quite distressing. It’s good that you sought out a new cardiologist who took the time to listen! What was your diagnosis?

BETTY: My new cardiologist found that my mitral valve was not working properly, and he told me in simple terms that my heart valve was “leaking.”

VICKI: What were the treatment options your doctor gave you?
BETTY: My new cardiologist recommended treatment with the MitraClip device since open heart surgery was not recommended for me.

VICKI: So what did you decide to do about it?

BETTY: After speaking with my cardiologist about what to expect, I decided to undergo the MitraClip procedure.

VICKI: How would you describe the procedure?
As my doctor explained to me, the procedure was a minimally-invasive option in which the doctor would use a catheter to implant the device through a vein in my leg.

VICKI: How long after the procedure did you start to notice a difference in how you felt?

BETTY: When my cardiologist came in to visit me shortly after my procedure, I told him that I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my chest. I was pleased that, within 48 hours, I was back home, feeling good again.

VICKI: Betty …. That’s terrific! What do you like to do for fun and how did your disease impact your ability to do those things? Now, Are you able to do those things you enjoyed, once again since you’ve had the procedure?

BETTY: I still live independently, garden, play bridge regularly with my friends, and visit my children and grandchildren. It is safe to say that I am physically active. Before the procedure, I had to give some of these activities up. But now that I have had the procedure I have happily returned to these activities.

VICKI: That’s so great to hear, Betty. What would you recommend people do if they find themselves in a similar situation as yours?

BETTY: I would encourage others who have a problem with their heart valve to speak with their doctors about treatment options. If I hadn’t had this procedure, I’d probably be in a nursing home. That’s the difference. I’m doing much better, and I’m truly living my life.

Thank you, Betty, for taking the time to share your personal experience with Degenerative Mitral Regurgitation. Your story and success with the Mitra Clip is very encouraging. I’m sure readers who may be experiencing challenges as you have experienced, will now be more informed as they talk with their doctors regarding treatment in dealing with their condition. Wishing you ongoing health and wellness!

“ABBOTT has a 125-year history of innovation and a mission to make better health possible for humankind across the globe.”

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(Any quoted or paraphrased information in this article was obtained from a provided fact sheet. Credits for any additional Abbot information include:
•cid:4C0A39E2-FC39-4BFB-8764-19572893A61C, and Much gratitude to Betty for her sharing her story in our interview.)

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