For a physician referral

866-705-ECHI(3244)


526 Moye Blvd
Greenville, NC 27834

For a physician referral

866-705-ECHI(3244)


526 Moye Blvd
Greenville, NC 27834

TAVR and MitraClip

Heart surgeons at the East Carolina Heart Institute have performed heart valve surgery (both repair and replacement) for several decades. During the past few years, they and their interventional cardiology colleagues have participated in research to explore non-surgical and less-invasive treatments for patients with faulty heart valves who are unable to tolerate the stress of open-heart surgery. 

These teams now jointly evaluate patients with valve disorders to determine which treatments are best indicated for each patient’s particular circumstances. Two options offered at the Heart Institute are TAVR and MitraClip.

What is TAVR?

TAVR is short for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. It's sometimes called an implant. It is a minimally invasive procedure to replace a damaged or diseased aortic valve.

A catheter is inserted into an artery, usually in the groin, and threaded up to the heart. There is a balloon at the end of the catheter. The replacement valve is folded very tightly around the balloon. When the balloon catheter is in the proper place, the balloon is then inflated to deliver the new valve to take the place of the old valve. The old valve is not removed but pushed to the side. The new valve takes over.

There is an entire team of people who help with this procedure. Your team will include an interventional cardiologist, cardiac surgeon and staff from the OR and catheterization lab. They all come together to offer their expertise while performing this procedure.

The TAVR procedure has been performed at the Heart Institute more than 110 times with great success.

What is MitraClip?

The MitraClip system consists of implant catheters and the MitraClip device. The device is a permanent implant that attaches to the mitral valve leaflets. The device works much like a "clothes pin" that pulls the leaflets together. This procedure results in a double opening of the mitral valve allowing it to close better and reduces the leakiness of the valve. (Your doctor may refer to this leakiness as mitral regurgitation.)

This is a minimally invasive procedure. The device is inserted through the groin in a large vein. The catheter is then guided up to the heart. The device is then positioned by grasping both leaflets of the mitral valve much like a clothes pin would clip two pieces of cloth together. The MitraClip is left in place and the catheter that was used to place the device is then removed.

The major benefit of the MitraClip is the reduction in mitral valve regurgitation (leakiness of the valve). Placement of this device will result in fewer hospitalizations, improve quality of life and relief of symptoms.

TAVR program contact

To refer a TAVR patient contact:

Kelli T. Cox, BSN RN
Aortic Valve Rep/TAVR Coordinator/Patient Navigator
Phone: 252-847-7438
Fax: 252-847-1618