Dr. Neil Fam inserted the Abbott Laboratories device into an 86-year old patient with severe mitral regurgitation. Because of the patient’s age, traditional surgery to repair her mitral valve was not an option.
Mitral valve regurgitation occurs when blood leaks backward through the mitral valve when the left ventricle contracts, according to the American Heart Association. If gone untreated, leaves can cause increased blood pressure in the left atrium and can increase pressure in pulmonary veins. If severe, the pressure can result in fluid build-up in the lungs.