Structural Heart Specialists First in Region to Perform TMVR

McLaren Flint Structural Heart Specialists First in Region to Perform TMVR

McLaren Flint continues to expand its cardiac program with the region’s first transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) done in February. Expansion of the cardiac services at McLaren Flint are due in part to the expertise of the hospital’s structural heart team, led by Sanjay Batra, MD, board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon, and Ahmad Munir, MD, board-certified interventional cardiologist. This new procedure brings more possibilities for our cardiac patients. 

Transcatheter means minimally invasive. Replacement in this instance means the patient previously had an open-heart surgical procedure in which their mitral valve was replaced. The availability of this type of procedure in Mid-Michigan is good news for patients whose replacement valves become diseased again or quit functioning properly, as they likely do not qualify for another open-heart procedure.

The mitral valve is a complex structure that controls blood flow through the left side of the heart. When open, the mitral valve allows blood to flow in the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle. When the left ventricle contracts to push blood through the body, the mitral valve closes to prevent blood from flowing back toward the lungs. Whether a mitral valve is abnormal from birth, or damaged by infection or coronary artery disease, it can no longer completely seal the left ventricle. An incomplete seal can cause blood to escape the left ventricle and flow backwards through the mitral valve. This conflicting force can make the heart work harder, leading to further mitral valve damage and other complications including congestive heart failure. 

“The procedures we perform are done through a small incision in the groin or sometimes in the chest,” said Dr. Munir. “For the transcatheter mitral valve replacement, a tissue valve is placed into a delivery system that is fed up through the body to the heart. Using X-ray views, we can push the damaged valve aside and implant the new one. For patients, this means improving the quality and duration of their lives. Patients usually only stay in the hospital overnight and begin feeling better shortly after the procedure.”

For more information or to refer your patient, contact the Heart Valve Institute at McLaren Flint at (810) 342-2590.