Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute mitral valve patient Pearl Segal, 83, celebrates a successful outcome with her family and healthcare team. From left to right: David Segal, son Saibal Kar, M.D., interventional cardiologist Zalman Segal, husband Asma Hussaini, M.S., PA-C., senior physician assistant
Feature | November 07, 2013
Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Patient First in United States to Receive Newly Approved Device to Repair Leaking Mitral Valve
November 7, 2013 — A Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute patient became the first in the nation to undergo the newly approved non-surgical procedure to fix their leaky and life-threatening heart valve condition.
Pearl Segal, 83, of Phoenix was the first patient in the nation to have the MitraClip procedure following last week’s approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Segal was diagnosed two years ago with mitral valve regurgitation
Saibal Kar, M.D., director, Cardiovascular Intervention Center, Sinai Heart Institute, performed the procedure. Kar has performed more MitraClip procedures than any other U.S. physician, according to manufacturer Abbott.
Before undergoing the procedure, Segal would lose breath by walking down the hall of her home. Just hours after her 45-minute mitral valve procedure on Nov. 4, Segal’s son David said, “Her color is better, she’s not getting out of breath and she’s smiling.”
Pearl Segal said undergoing the mitral procedure was much easier than her 2009 experience with open-heart surgery to fix an unrelated heart condition. That surgery required 10 days of hospitalization followed by two weeks of cardiac rehabilitation and a month of in-home nursing. Because of Segal’s frailty and other health conditions, she was not a candidate for open-heart valve repair.
“Mitral valves can become dysfunctional for several reasons, including age,” said Kar. “But, as we age, we face higher risk from open heart surgery. Catheter-based, minimally invasive heart procedures are a way we can add years to life and life to years.”
During clinical trials, Kar and other Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute physicians performed more catheter-based mitral valve repairs than any other U.S. medical center. Kar receives compensation from Abbott for teaching clinicians how to implant the MitraClip device.
During the procedure, the MitraClip device is delivered to the heart through the femoral vein, a blood vessel in the leg, and once implanted, allows the mitral valve to open and close correctly without leaking, thereby relieving symptoms and improving patient quality of life. Patients undergoing MitraClip treatment typically experience short recovery times and hospital stays.
"This device offers new hope for thousands of patients with leaky valves worldwide,” said Eduardo Marbán, M.D., Ph.D., director, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. “We are proud to have been the leading site in the clinical trials that led to approval, and we look forward to offering this innovative therapy to all those in need."
For more information: www.cedars-sinai.edu, www.abbottvascular.com