Technology Update: What Should Patients Know About Transcatheter Mitral Valve Therapy?

I get a lot of great questions and phone calls about transcatheter mitral valve therapy. So, at the recent Heart Valve Summit, I sat down with Dr. Steven Bolling to help all of us learn the latest updates about transcatheter mitral valve repair and replacement technologies.

Why Dr. Bolling? Well… Dr. Steve Bolling is the Director of the Mitral Valve Center at the University of Michigan. During his career, Dr. Bolling has performed over 5,000 heart valve procedures. You should also know that Dr. Bolling has been a huge supporter of our community and Dr. Bolling has successfully treated bunches of patients from our community including Jeff Adams, George Parrish and Linda Comai. Here’s the highlights from my interview with Dr. Bolling:



I hope this video helped you learn about the current and future transcatheter technologies that may transform the treatment of severe mitral regurgitation. On behalf of our community, I want to extend an extraordinary “Thank You!” to Dr. Bolling for sharing his clinical research and experience with our community.

Keep on tickin!

P.S. For the hearing impaired members of our community, I have provided a written transcript of this video below:

Adam Pick: Hi, everybody, it’s Adam with, and we are at the Heart Valve Summit in Chicago, Illinois. I am excited to be here with Dr. Steve Bolling. Steve, thanks for being here.

Dr. Steven Bolling – Heart Surgeon

Dr. Bolling: Thanks for having me.

Adam Pick: So you know, Steve is the Director of the Mitral Valve Center and the University of Michigan, and we’ve got a question for you, Steve. We’re hearing a lot of great things here about mitral valve therapy. One of the hottest things, I’d say, we’ve talked about is percutaneous or transcatheter mitral valve therapy. Could you share, just for all the viewers out there, what’s the latest updates in this area of valve therapy?

Dr. Bolling: Well, we’re very excited about percutaneous mitral valve therapy. It’s been an interesting journey for us. Obviously, aortic valve percutaneous therapy has really come forward and blossomed, and TAVR’s reality. It is a therapy for patients. Of course, that recreates the gold standard of aortic valve surgery, which was to replace the aortic valve. We can do it either surgically, or now we’ve learned how to do it through a catheter. Of course, how you get it there really doesn’t matter. The patients do well, and they probably do better because we’re doing it with a catheter.

Adam Pick: Now Steve, to interrupt you, transcatheter – can you just define for those folks who’ve never heard it. What does that mean and what are the potential benefits for patients?

Dr. Bolling:  It usually means going up some type of vein or artery and therefore, you don’t have to go on the heart-lung machine. You don’t end up with a very large incision through your chest or through the side or something like that. It’s interesting that the mitral valve – the gold standard for mitral valve surgery may be a replacement, may be a repair and of that repair, there may be a ring, or I may do something to the leaflet, or something to the cord. It’s far more complex than the aortic valve realm where replacement is the gold standard. So it’s been slower for us to get percutaneous catheter-based therapies because there’s so much more to do, but I think it will come, and I think it’ll help patients.

Adam Pick: Right, so could you talk about what we’re seeing in terms of transcatheter mitral valve replacement, where it is in its evolution, and also transcatheter mitral valve repairs, can you talk about where that is, too?

Dr. Bolling: Of course, in repair, we do have one device, the mitral clip, that is clinically available for transcatheter repair What it does is clips the leaflet together. Now is that going to be the end-all and be-all for everything? No, it does not recreate the gold standard of what I do in an operating room for a mitral valve repair of 10,000 things that I might or might not do for a patient. Replacement, percutaneous mitral valve replacement is really in its infancy at this point in time. I think, however, that we’ll see the same thing of realm or millieu for the surgeon or the interventional – person to pick from, either replacement or ring and some type of leaflet procedure. We will have that eventually, the pick of those three things. That’s what the gold standard is surgically. That’s what we will recreate percutaneously with a catheter.

Adam Pick: It’s fascinating that you’re coming up – you and your team and the great industry sponsors here are coming up with these options, it sounds like, for someone like yourself to help a patient who’s been diagnosed with severe mitral disease On behalf of all the patients out there, Steve, you have been working at this your entire life. We just want to say an extraordinary thank you for all the great things you’re doing. Steve, thanks so much.

Dr. Bolling:  Thanks for having me here; thanks.

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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