Inside Access: The Medtronic Mitral Valve Wet Lab at the AATS Mitral Conclave
Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: May 6, 2023
At the recent AATS Mitral Conclave in New York City, the world’s leading mitral valve surgeons gathered to learn the newest and most trusted surgical techniques for the management and treatment of mitral valve disease. There were over 45 educational sessions at the AATS Mitral Conclave that included lectures, debates, case presentations and break-out sessions.
Dr. Steve Bolling at Medtronic’s Mitral Valve Wet Lab
For me, one of the most fascinating experiences during the AATS Mitral Conclave was the “Mitral Valve Wet Lab”. Thanks to Medtronic, a leading manufacturer of mitral valve repair and mitral valve replacement devices, physicians at the AATS Mitral Conclave were able to practice advanced mitral valve repair techniques in a conference room in New York City.
Mitral Conclave Mitral Valve Wet Lab Sponsored by Medtronic
That’s right! As you can see in the picture above, a conference room at the New York Hilton Midtown hotel was transformed into a “wet lab” where surgeons learned proven mitral valve repair techniques from Dr. Steve Bolling, a leading mitral valve repair surgeon at Michigan Medicine. Dr. Bolling is a mitral valve guru who has performed thousands of mitral valve operations and successfully treated many patients in our community including Brian Kirk and Katie Johnson.
What Happens At A Wet Lab?
During the Medtronic Wet Lab, each physician was provided an actual pig heart to simulate a mitral valve repair procedure. Interestingly, the valvular structures within pig hearts closely mirror human hearts. Learn 10 facts about pig heart valve replacements here.
The interactions among Dr. Bolling and the physicians in this session were downright wonderful. It was fantastic to see how, in real-time, the attendees were learning advanced techniques for mitral valve repair, also known as mitral valve reconstruction, which is more complex to successfully perform compared to mitral valve replacement procedures.
Here is a quick video from the AATS Mitral Conclave Wet Lab.
Why Is The AATS Mitral Conclave Wet Lab So Important For Patients?
I cannot stress how important this wet lab is for patients with mitral regurgitation. Research suggests that there are significant, patient benefits for mitral valve repair compared to mitral valve replacement. Those benefits include enhanced durability, no lifelong use of blood thinners (e.g. Coumadin), and, most restored life expectancy.
For these reasons… If you have mitral regurgitation, a leaky valve, please take the time to research your disease, understand your treatment options, and ask your surgeon about his or her outcomes for mitral valve repair surgery. This really is a big deal!
Thanks AATS Mitral Conclave, Dr. Bolling & Medtronic!
On behalf of the patients within the HeartValveSurgery.com community, many thanks to the AATS Mitral Conclave for providing a special opportunity for surgeons to practice their mitral valve repair techniques. We also need to extend a big thanks Medtronic for sponsoring the wet lab and Dr. Bolling for sharing his mitral valve repair techniques at the AATS Mitral Conclave.
- Surgeon Q&A: Why Is The Mitral Conclave Critical for Patients?
- Photo Stream: Mitral Valve Experts Connect Live at AATS Mitral Conclave
- Mitral Valve Disease Awareness Week Launches!
Keep on tickin!