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French Hospital Offers Breakthrough Cardiology Treatment for Patients with Mitral Regurgitation Not Eligible For Surgery

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French now offering the MitraClip™ therapy — a breakthrough minimally invasive treatment option for people with a leaky heart valve who are not eligible for traditional open-heart surgery

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – February 6, 2023 – The cardiology team at French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) has successfully performed its first mitral valve repair using the innovative MitraClip™ procedure—a minimally invasive treatment option for people with a severe leak in the mitral valve who are too high-risk for traditional open-heart surgery or select heart patients who remain symptomatic despite guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT). The condition, called mitral regurgitation (MR), is one of the most common heart valve diseases.

A leak in the mitral valve occurs when the leaflets, or flaps, of the mitral valve do not close completely, allowing blood to flow back into the heart as it pumps. The heart has to work harder, as a result, to keep blood flowing and can raise the risk for life-threatening stroke and heart failure. When MR becomes severe, it can profoundly affect a person’s quality-of-life by causing shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and other debilitating symptoms. If left untreated, MR can ultimately lead to heart failure and death.

"The MitraClip is a game-changer in the field of interventional cardiology, offering a minimally invasive option for patients with mitral regurgitation who may not be suitable for traditional surgical repair,” says Leonard Clavijo, MD, Interventional Cardiologist, French Hospital Medical Center. “Our team was especially pleased to include this new procedure to our already robust cardiac program, and offer those suffering with mitral regurgitation a new hope for improved quality of life without the risks of traditional open-heart surgery.” 

For MR patients who are ineligible for surgery or select heart failure patients who remain symptomatic despite GDMT, the most advanced MitraClip system, MitraClip G4, offers a safe and effective treatment option that can improve quality of life.

The MitraClip device is delivered to the heart through a small incision in the leg and clips portions of the leaflets of the mitral valve together to reduce the backflow of blood, restoring the heart’s ability to pump oxygenated blood more efficiently. Patients tend to have a short hospital stay – on average, two days – and experience improved heart function and symptoms almost immediately. MitraClip is now on a fourth generation of innovations and offers new advancements and additional options for doctors treating mitral valve disease. The therapy has now treated more than 150,000 patients worldwide.

More information about MitraClip is available online at


About French Hospital Medical Center

French Hospital Medical Center is a state-of-the-art, 112-bed acute care hospital located in San Luis Obispo, California. French’s Oppenheimer Family Center for Emergency Medicine is the area’s most advanced emergency services center. The modern facility is home to the Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center, is the county’s premier cardiac center, providing the latest cardiac and imaging technology, and the Hearst Cancer Resource Center offering free education, resources and support to cancer patients and their families. 

French Hospital Medical Center together with Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, and Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, make up Dignity Health Central Coast, a network of hospitals, physicians, and outpatient services including physician offices, ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers, and a full service home health agency. To learn more, visit

About MitraClip

MitraClip is a small, clip-based device has proven to repair primary and secondary MR without the need for open-heart surgery. The device is delivered to the heart through a small incision in the leg and works by clipping together a portion of the leaflets of the mitral valve to reduce the backflow of blood, which allows the heart to pump blood more efficiently.

The MitraClip system has been commercially available in the U.S. since 2013 and in Europe since 2008. With more than 19 years of clinical experience and more than 150,000 patients treated worldwide, the MitraClip system is the first transcatheter mitral valve therapy with proven safety and the only with proven survival and durable clinical outcomes.

MitraClip was approved in the U.S. in 2013 for primary MR patients. In March 2019, FDA approved MitraClip for secondary MR patients based on results from the COAPT Trial, which investigated MitraClip for treating secondary MR. A landmark trial, COAPT showed a 47% relative reduction in hospitalizations and a 38% relative reduction in mortality. Both primary and secondary MR patients may benefit from MitraClip therapy based on this expanded indication for MitraClip.

Abbott is the global leader in developing transcatheter mitral valve technologies as alternatives to open-heart surgery. Building upon its success with the MitraClip device and many years of mitral valve experience and clinical evidence, Abbott is also leading the way in novel, transcatheter devices by investing in the development and clinical study of new mitral valve replacement technologies.  

The Cardiac Care Team at French Hospital

Publish date: 

Monday, February 06, 2023