Valley Medical Group News

New Non-Surgical Option for Valve Repair Valley Medical Group Cardiologists are First in the Area to Offer MitraClip to Repair Leaky Valves


The Heart Team at The Valley Hospital recently became the first in Bergen, Passaic and Rockland counties to use a cutting edge medical device to repair valve leakage. The MitraClip device is now being used to treat patients with severe symptomatic degenerative mitral valve regurgitation (MR) who are deemed unfit for surgery. The device is being utilized by Valley Medical Group physicians Sean Wilson, M.D., and Howard Goldschmidt, M.D.

The MitraClip, manufactured by Abbot, repairs the mitral valve without the need for an invasive surgical procedure. The device is inserted through the femoral vein in the groin, similar to a routine catheterization. Using x-ray and ultrasound imaging, the system is guided into the heart to the mitral valve, and the clip partially closes the leaking valve.

“Once the device is implanted, it enables the heart to pump blood more efficiently, which helps to relieve MR symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life,” says Sean Wilson, M.D., structural heart specialist with Valley Medical Group. “Patients undergoing MitraClip treatment typically experience short recovery times and short hospital stays of three days.”

The MitraClip device has been approved for U.S. patients with severe symptomatic degenerative MR who are at prohibitive risk to undergo open heart surgery. MR is a debilitating, progressive and life-threatening disease in which a leaky mitral valve causes a backward flow of blood in the heart. The condition can raise the risk of irregular heartbeats, stroke, and heart failure, which can be deadly.

Mitral regurgitation is common, affecting more than 4 million Americans – nearly one in 10 people aged 75 and above. Open heart mitral valve surgery is the standard of care treatment, but many patients are at prohibitive risk for an invasive procedure. Medications for the condition are limited to symptom management and do not stop the progression of the disease.

In September, Dr. Wilson and Dr. Goldschmidt, assisted by cardiac surgeon Alex Zapolanski, M.D., treated four patients with the MitraClip in The Valley Hospital’s cardiac catheterization laboratory for surgically inoperable severe mitral regurgitation. “All four procedures were successful, and the patients have all reported improvement in their symptoms of shortness of breath and congestive heart failure” says Howard Goldschmidt, cardiologist with Valley Medical Group.

Valley’s Cardiovascular Institute is an affiliate of the Cleveland Clinic's Heart & Vascular Institute. To learn more about Valley’s cardiovascular services or to view the latest Cardiovascular Outcomes Report, visit