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New Heart Technology: Queen’s Heart Institute Offers Hope with New Heart Procedure

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Cardiologist performing Tricuspid Clip procedure

Queen’s Heart Institute successfully performed its first Tricuspid Clip procedure, only the second in the
state, to greatly improve the quality of life for a patient. The most remarkable part about this procedure was that it used a technology designed for another part of the heart to help solve the patient’s problem. Queen’s structural cardiologist, Dr. Benjamin Plank, and his multi-disciplinary team truly showed innovative thinking as they provided quality care to the patient.

“Our patient suffered from tricuspid valve regurgitation, or a leaky valve in the right side of the heart, and traditional medications were not working. As a result, she felt weak and ill,” said Dr. Plank. “If left untreated, blood can back up into the veins in the body and the liver, the stomach, and the legs begin to swell. Breathing can become difficult and in the extreme, the result can be liver failure. Due to her medical history, our patient was not a good candidate for open-heart surgery. We needed to find another solution.”

Dr. Plank and his team proposed an innovative, new procedure as an alternative solution. They would use a Mitra clip—a technology designed for the mitral valve on the left side of the heart—to repair the leaky tricuspid valve on the right side of the heart. Knowing that options were limited, the patient and her family decided to move ahead with Dr. Plank’s recommendation. The Mitra Clip was delivered to the patient’s heart through a catheter—a long and thin tube—that was put in through a vein in the leg. This minimally invasive procedure allows the heart to pump blood more efficiently, giving the patient more energy and a better quality of life.

“In the future, devices will be designed for our patient’s tricuspid valve problem specifically. In fact, the Mitra clip is in trials to be used the way we used it, and there are other devices being developed specifically designed for the tricuspid valve,” commented Dr. Plank. “But our patient needed a solution in the short term, so we offered this option and were extremely pleased with the results.” Shortly following the procedure, the patient’s family noted a significant improvement in her energy levels.

They said she looks healthier, with a renewed sense of life. With continued follow-ups and medicine, her future is bright because of the dedicated Queen’s Heart Institute specialists who paired their robust
experience with a leading-edge medical development.

The success of this procedure offers hope to patients with few treatment options. And the fact that
patients can consider this plan without the burden or expense of traveling to the mainland is a
tremendous asset.

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