the mitral valve separates the lungsfrom your left ventricle and when your left ventricle squeezesand is supposed to send blood forward across the aortic valve to your brain and the rest the body the mitral valve is supposed to stop thatblood from going backwards into the lungs. and mitral regurgitation is when themitral valve leaks
fluid in lungs, and that blood goes back into the lungs.and a cardinal symptom to mitral regurgitation is really shortness of breath. and peoplecan get hospitalized with fluid in their lungs, they get swelling in their legs, they have a difficult time breathing especially at night when they are
sleeping. mitral regurgitation is clinicallya very big deal and typically is, involves people who areeither too sick or too old to undergo the standard therapy which isto repair it, and so that was really what the concept of the mitraclip that was basedon is, we needed therapy which wasn't so traumatic to patients. the mitraclip, or percutaneous mitral valverepair is a much less invasive procedure its still done under general anesthesiabut it's no sternotomy, is there's no cutting of the chest,
no stopping the heart. you come in through thelag and go up, and you clip the leaflets together, the recovery is really muchbetter people go home the next day as opposed as forthe five to seven day hospitalization for surgical mitral valve repair orreplacement and people are really functional right away not the eight week recovery from the sternonomy. if you are athigh risk for surgery: you're at advanced age; you're frail; you've had previous open heart surgery; those patients are really the bestcandidates. i just simply put my hands, you know, my life in their hands
i decided,"well there's nothing else ican do," and there really wasn't. mrs. zecher she's had previous open-heart surgery.she was in and out at the hospital severely limited with shortness of breathand couldn't really live independently and do any of the things she would want to do to have a good quality of life. her options were to have a traditionalsurgery which would be a re-do surgery which has a lot more risk and much morerecovery time, or to have the mitraclip. i was just totally, ah, hey i was in theirhands and i was happy with them, very happy with them. she did
really great, went home the next day andhas really felt great since then with really minimal risk, and a greatrecovery. i don't know what they did with me, butthey just kept me two hours there. and now she hasn't been hospitalized andshe's not short of breath, she can live her life independently. that's prettyamazing, you know, to get me from nowhere, to where i am. there've been upwards of 18,000 patients who have clearly had their lives changed with thistechnology and while as a practicing clinician ithoroughly enjoy it, and get a lot of
award from the day-to-day interactionwith patients and i really revel in that. as the pioneer of the mitraclip it'salso extremely rewarding to see that we have been able to developa technology here at el camino that has a global impact in the health care. el camino hospital as a community hospitalhas a lot of advantages for doing creative, innovative research, wehave a system that is very receptive to innovation, andand moves the process along an expeditious way, that's not always thecase in a large university or large academic institution
so it really is a model that reallyfacilitates the whole process of innovation and the process have improving medicaltherapy as quickly as possible. it really builds for collaboration because wehave doctors of varied training that work together andcan percolate and get ideas from each other and really grow and develop the next new technologies.
i'm very grateful to be here, thosepeople gave me a new lease on life and that's just exactly where it is. anybody who didn't put their trust in them would be very foolish. theysaved my life, really.