MitraClip for Mitral Regurgitation

Mitral regurgitation impacts millions of adults in the United States and if left untreated, can be life-threatening.

The mitral valve, located between the left atrium and the left ventricle of the heart, is responsible for regulating the flow of oxygen-rich blood received from the lungs. Proper one-way flow of blood through the mitral valve is made possible by the two leaflets (flap-like structures) of the mitral valve.

Mitral regurgitation occurs when the mitral valve leaflets do not close completely and blood flows backward or “leaks,” creating symptoms that may include shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain.

3 part heart illustration Northwestern Medicine Heart Illustration

When severe, mitral regurgitation is often treated with open-heart valve surgery. However for high-risk patients, open-heart surgery may not be the best treatment option. For these patients, MitraClip is the only approved minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment option.

During a MitraClip procedure, the MitraClip device is inserted in to the body through a catheter placed in the patient’s femoral (leg) vein. The catheter is then threaded up the vein to the heart. Once in the heart, a small hole is made in an internal wall of the heart (the atrial septum) and the MitraClip device is advanced across the mitral valve. The device is positioned and placed to join or “clip” together a portion of the mitral valve leaflets, reducing or eliminating the backward flow of blood.


Unlike open-heart valve surgery, during the MitraClip procedure there is no need for a heart-lung bypass machine. The minimally invasive, transcatheter approach allows patients to recover faster and experience an improvement in symptoms soon after the procedure.

Northwestern Medicine MitraClip Mitral Valve Replacement

Northwestern Memorial is heavily involved in the use of MitraClip technology through ongoing work led by Mark J. Ricciardi, MD and team of dedicated physicians, which includes cardiologists Charles J. Davidson, MD, and Jyothy J. Puthumana, MD, and cardiac surgeon S. Chris Malaisrie, MD.

Illustrations courtesy of Abbott, copyright 2013.

Locations Performing this Treatment

Contact Us

For more information regarding MitraClip or to obtain a consultation or second opinion, please contact the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).

Clinical Trials
For information regarding clinical trials related to mitral valve disease, please visit the Clinical Trials Unit of Northwestern, send an email or call 312.926.4000.

Referring Physicians
The Center for Heart Valve Disease team is available for physician-to-physician consultation regarding best patient care. Please contact the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).