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First Minimally-invasive Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement in New England Performed at Mass General

In This Article

  • Physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Corrigan Minehan Heart Center recently became the first team in New England to perform a transcatheter mitral valve replacement in a non-calcified mitral valve
  • This minimally invasive procedure can help patients who suffer from mitral valve regurgitation, while shortening time spent in the operating room and in recovery

One in five patients age 70 and older are affected by mitral valve regurgitation, a condition in which blood flows back through a diseased valve into the atrium of the heart. The disease can cause patients to experience shortness of breath and fatigue, and lead to heart failure if left untreated.

Transcatheter mitral valve replacement is a new, minimally-invasive procedure designed to treat this condition in patients with a non-calcified mitral valve. Physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital recently became the first team in New England to perform this procedure as part of the APOLLO trial, a national study to analyze the effectiveness of the new synthetic valve administered via a catheter versus traditional open heart surgery.

Transcatheter mitral valve replacement removes the need for a heart-lung machine and allows patients to spend less than an hour in the operating room, compared with open-heart surgery, which may take several hours. Also, doctors hope the procedure will shorten recovery times.

Serguei Melnitchouk, MD, MPH, cardiac surgeon, co-director of the Heart Valve Program, and co-principal investigator of the trial, is excited about the pace at which the field is developing. The team hopes this new procedure will replicate the significant impact that minimally-invasive aortic valve replacements have had on patients for more than a decade.

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Refer a patient to the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center


Damage to the mitral valve after heart attack leads to HF and death. Treatment with hypertension drug may reduce mitral valve scaring and stiffening.


Chronic severe MR patients are without intervention until symptoms appear. Advances in minimally invasive procedures lead to successful earlier intervention.