Avera Medial Minute: Mitral Clip offers option for heart procedures

Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 9:20 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - In our Avera Medical Minute; a procedure that is giving patients, especially seniors, a chance to fix their heart problems without the need for invasive surgery.

It comes in the form of a device that is inserted into the heart through a vein and put into place. You’re going to meet a man who says he is convinced he would no longer be with us if not for this medical advance.

Bud Hippe says he feels better right now than he has in a long time. “It’s a new beginning when you get this operation but it’s not the end. You still have to monitor what you’re doing. You can’t give up and say OK now we have everything fixed.”

Bud has had heart problems going back a decade and has spent a fair amount of time in the hospital because of them. His most recent problem: a leaky heart valve that was putting him at an increased risk for more serious problems, and likely death, if it was not taken care of. The solution; the insertion of what’s called a mitral clip.

Dr. John Wagner is an Avera Health Cardiologist. “The procedure is done under general anesthesia, we go through a vein in the leg which helps us get up to the left side of the heart, which is where we do our work.”

Going through a leg vein is important. The common remedy for this situation would be a type of open heart surgery. But there is a fear that with seniors, like Bud, that open heart surgery would be just a little too invasive and a little too much for the system.

“I have so much confidence in everyone here because of past procedures.”, said Hippe.

So given Bud’s medical history, the Mitral Clip plan was a go. Time was important because this heart valve problem wasn’t just something that could be put off any longer. It had to be taken care of because it was causing real problems.

“His valve was still leaking and he was still having problems so he looked like a very good candidate for Mitral Clip to try and prevent the regurgitation from causing his heart failure and he’s had an excellent result.”, said Dr. Wagner.

“I feel very fortunate. I get endurance now...you can get a second wind.”, said Hippe.

Bud says he has energy again and credits his being here to not only the Mitral Clip surgery...but a Planet Heart screening several years ago that detected the problem in the first place.

“You can encourage people to think of their life as being important...then take the time to check yourself out.”, said Hippe.