Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVr) or Replacement (TMVR)

When a leaky mitral valve makes breathing difficult, doctors may look to an operation. But not everyone can safely have open-heart surgery. At the Center for Structural Heart Disease, we provide minimally invasive alternatives to relieve your symptoms and protect your body from harm.

Our doctors have extensive experience performing transcatheter mitral valve repairs with a device that clips onto the valve. We also play a leading role in exploring additional options and expanding treatment to more people.

Why choose Henry Ford Health System for mitral valve repair or replacement?

Surgery remains the most common method for repairing or replacing the mitral valve, and our team includes top cardiac surgeons. But if you need a less invasive approach, we still have you covered. Our team offers:

  • Experience: We began investigating minimally invasive approaches before many other programs. We have completed more than 300 mitral valve procedures, typically performing the most each year in Michigan. While other centers often do 15 procedures annually, we do as many as 90.
  • Innovation: The existing clip device works well for many people who need a procedure, but not for everyone. We’re investigating additional repair devices, as well as a handful of valves for minimally invasive replacement. We offer more clinical trials or mitral valve disease than any other program in the state.
  • Safety: Since the mitral valve is complex, we use 4D imaging to capture your unique details from every angle. For the most complicated cases, we may also use 3D printing to create a precise model of your heart. Few heart programs use 3D printing this way.

TMVR and mitral regurgitation

When the mitral valve leaks, some blood can flow backward. This mitral valve regurgitation causes your heart to work harder. If the leaking is severe enough, your doctor will likely look to move beyond medications and treat the valve directly.

We use a well-established device that clips onto your mitral valve and can treat both forms of regurgitation. Doctors deliver it via a catheter, or thin tube. They start at a vein, usually in the groin, and thread the catheter toward the right side of your heart. They then cross over to your heart’s left side and head down to your mitral valve. Once there, they attach the device. The device helps the valve close more completely, reducing the amount of blood that leaks.

Learn more about what to expect from a minimally invasive heart procedure at Henry Ford.

Newer repair device

For some people, the existing repair device doesn’t provide an ideal fix. We’re investigating another device for a minimally invasive repair that takes a different approach. It uses a series of small springs to reinforce the natural ring at the base of the mitral valve.

Minimally invasive mitral valve replacement

Some of the people who can’t have surgery need mitral valve replacement rather than repair. We’re involved in clinical trials of several replacement valves that could offer an alternative to surgery. These trials are only available at certain centers.

Our doctors also developed a way to make mitral valve replacement safer and available to more people. They use an existing treatment called alcohol septal ablation to make more room for the replacement valve. Learn more about this mitral valve replacement innovation.

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