Ask Me Anything #2: “Is the MitraClip Close to Being a Standardized Procedure?” asks Dorothy

For our second “Ask Me Anything” video from the Mitral Conclave conference, we’re going to answer Dorothy’s question about the MitraClip, a new transcatheter mitral valve repair device (TMVR) that received FDA approval in 2013. In her post, Dorothy asked me, “Is the MitraClip getting closer to being a standardized procedure?”


MitraClip by Abbott Laboratories


To answer Dorothy’s question, I tracked down Dr. Gorav Ailawadi from the University of Virginia Advanced Cardiac Valve Center. As you might recall, I was very fortunate to watch Dr. Ailawadi and Dr. Scott Lim perform a MitraClip procedure a few years ago.



Thanks to Dorothy for her question and a special thanks to Dr. Ailawadi for sharing his clinical experiences and research with the patients and caregivers in our community!

Keep on tickin!

P.S. For the hearing impaired members of our community, I have provided a written transcript of my interview with Dr. Ailawadi below.

Adam: Hi, everybody! It’s Adam and we’re at the Mitral Conclave in New York City. We’re answering your questions that were submitted at I am very excited to be here with Dr. Gorav Ailawadi, who’s from the University of Virginia. He’s a Cardiac Surgeon. We’re answering Dorothy’s question about the MitraClip. She asks, Dr. Ailawadi, “Is the MitraClip getting closer to be a standardized procedure?

Dr. Gorav AilawadiDr. Gorav Ailawadi

Dr. Gorav Ailawadi: Well that’s a great question. The MitraClip, as many of you may know, is a device that goes in through the groin to repair the mitral valve that’s leaking. The way it works is it essentially clips two different parts of the valve together. It’s one of about ten or twelve different ways that we have to repair valves with surgery, so I probably can’t say it’s the standard procedure that we do on every patient. It is a great procedure in the right patient.

As you know, it is something that was recently FDA approved in the United States about a year ago, for patients with a certain type of valve disease called degenerative valve disease who are not candidates for surgery. We see in many patients a huge reduction in the value leakage. It may not always be as good as with surgery, so when somebody that’s healthy and active, surgery may still be a better option in terms of long term.

Those patients that are maybe frail or elderly, or have other medical problems, the clip is a great solution. It decreases their leak to something that they can absolutely live with. They function well. They can live life. Most of them are actually out of the hospital within a day or two.

Adam: Dr. Ailawadi, I want to thank you for all the great work that you and your team are doing in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia. Thanks for coming by and sharing that answer. I hope that helped Dorothy; I know it helped me. Thanks so much.

Dr. Gorav Ailawadi: Thank you.

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of

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  • Jim Kolius

    I just underwent the micro-clip procedure which is the topic here. I was the fifth person to do so at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, AZ Dr. John Sweeney was one of the surgeons and lead the team. This was on 20 March 2015, and I was discharged two days later. I never felt any pain before, during or ofter the operation, not even where they entered my groin. I am 84yo and therefore was not a candidate for OHS I am stil recuperating, but doing things I could not do before the procedure. Thank the Good Lord this procedure came along while I was still alive, as it has given me hope to have more years ahead that I know I could not have had without it. Before the procedure, I could not walk 15 feet without being out of breath and totally exhausted, and had to stop for a period of minutes. I could not and did not want to go on like that for the rest of my life. I am now looking forward to more years ahead.


  • Jim,

    Thanks for sharing your inspirational story about the MitraClip. I could be wrong… But, I think we spoke, or exchanged emails, prior to your procedure. Regardless, I could not be more happy for you and all the people around you!!!

    Keep on tickin!

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