Banner Health News Center  

Banner Health first in AZ to offer device to improve quality of life for patients with heart valve disease


PHOENIX (April 7, 2014) – Physicians at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center are the first in Arizona to offer patients suffering from mitral regurgitation (MR) a breakthrough new FDA-approved minimally invasive treatment option, MitraClip® Therapy. 

Mitral Regurgitation is the most common type of heart valve insufficiency, affecting nearly one in ten people aged 75 years and older – approximately four million people in the United States alone.

“The condition, which can be progressive and life threatening in more serious cases, occurs when the leaflets of the mitral valve do not close completely, causing blood to flow backwards and leak into the left atrium of the heart during the cardiac cycle,” explains Ashish Pershad, program director of the interventional cardiovascular fellowship training program at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center and medical director of the structural heart program.

The condition can raise the risk of irregular heartbeats, stroke, and heart failure, which can be deadly.

Medications for the condition may help reduce symptoms caused by the inefficient backward flow of blood but do not stop the progression of the disease, and in some cases a doctor may decide that the mitral valve needs to be surgically repaired or replaced.

“Open heart mitral valve surgery is the standard treatment for MR, but many patients are at prohibitive risk for an invasive procedure due to presence of other illnesses or because of advanced age,” says Pershad.

MitraClip, made by the healthcare company Abbott, repairs the mitral valve without the need for an invasive surgical procedure. The MitraClip device is inserted through a blood vessel in the leg. The treatment works by reducing the backflow of blood, which allows the heart to pump blood more efficiently, thereby relieving symptoms and improving patient quality of life.

“Patients undergoing treatment with the MitraClip therapy typically experience short recovery times and short hospital stays, an average of three days,” explained Pershad. “This breakthrough is exciting and being one of the early adopters of this innovative technology in the United States really shows how Banner Health has evolved into one of the foremost and leading centers where complex structural heart interventions are performed.”

About Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center
Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz. is a large teaching hospital that has provided medical care to Arizona and the Southwest since 1911. The hospital, ranked one of Arizona’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, specializes in heart care, cancer care, high-risk obstetrics, neurosciences and stroke care, organ transplants and Emergency care including a Level 1 trauma center. Banner Good Samaritan is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 24 hospitals in seven states. For more information, visit or Facebook.

About MitraClip Therapy
The MitraClip device has been approved for U.S. patients with severe symptomatic degenerative MR who are at prohibitive risk for mitral valve surgery. Degenerative MR is a type of MR caused by an anatomic defect of the mitral valve of the heart. Prohibitive risk is determined by the clinical judgment of a heart team due to the presence of one or more documented surgical risk factors.

Interviews are available with the second patient to receive the MitraClip Therapy in Arizona after FDA approval at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, as well as the cardiovascular team; Ashish Pershad, MD, Timothy Byrne, MD, and George Gellert, MD.

Email Public Relations for more information.

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