St. Vincent’s Is First Connecticut Hospital to Utilize Next-Generation MitraClip® That Opens Doors for Many More Patients

August 17, 2018

BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut – August 17, 2018 – The cardiovascular team at St. Vincent’s Medical Center has successfully performed another first in the state, completing the first mitral valve repair using the newest generation MitraClip. This minimally invasive treatment option opens doors for people with a severe leak in the mitral valve who are too high-risk for traditional open-heart surgery.1 The condition, called mitral regurgitation (MR), is the most common heart valve disease.2 This next-generation version is designed to help doctors treat patients who have more complex anatomies.

“Since launching our transcatheter mitral valve repair program in November 2016 using the original MitraClip device, we have been very successful treating patients some of whom needed the treatment to survive,” stated Rafael Squitieri, MD, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Chair of Cardiovascular Services at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. “Prior to this procedure, the only option was high risk cardiac surgery, for which many patients are not candidates.”

A leak in the mitral valve occurs when the flaps, or doors, do not close completely, allowing blood to flow back into the heart as it pumps. The heart must work harder, as a result, to keep blood flowing and can raise the risk for life-threatening stroke and heart failure. When MR becomes severe, it can profoundly affect a person’s quality of life by causing shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and other debilitating symptoms.2  

The small MitraClip® NT clip is guided into place using a thin tube (or catheter) guided through a small incision in a leg vein. The clip is then attached to the flaps of the mitral valve to help it close more completely and restore normal blood flow.1 Patients tend to have a short hospital stay and experience improved heart function and symptoms almost immediately.3

“We are the first site in Connecticut to use the next generation MitraClip, a longer device that allows the cardiologist to perform this procedure on patients that may have not been candidates before,” said Dr. Jeffrey Berman, Vice Chair, Cardiovascular Services, St. Vincent’s Medical Center. “In addition, this new device can provide better results for patients that can decrease symptoms and hospital admissions, control healthcare associated costs, and improve their overall quality of life.” 

To schedule an appointment with a St. Vincent’s Cardiologist, visit More information about MitraClip® therapy is available online at


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Founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1903, St. Vincent's Medical Center is a mission-driven organization committed to exceptional health care for all with special attention to persons living in poverty and those who are most vulnerable. St. Vincent’s, with more than 3,200 associates, includes a licensed 473-bed community teaching hospital, a 76-bed inpatient psychiatric facility in Westport, a large multispecialty provider group, and St. Vincent’s Special Needs Services. St. Vincent's was awarded the Nursing Magnet® Recognition, the highest national award for nursing excellence. In 2013, St. Vincent's Medical Center was named Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by the Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America, and has been recognized by both the Joint Commission and OSHA as a model of a highly reliable organization dedicated to patient safety. The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer awarded St. Vincent's an Outstanding Achievement Award with Accreditation in 2012, and it also has earned its designation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Cancer.  St. Vincent's Medical Center is part of Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. For more information on programs and services, visit


About MitraClip® NT

The MitraClip® NT Clip Delivery System is indicated for the percutaneous reduction of significant symptomatic mitral regurgitation (MR >3+) due to primary abnormality of the mitral apparatus [degenerative MR] in patients who have been determined to be at prohibitive risk for mitral valve surgery by a heart team, which includes a cardiac surgeon experienced in mitral valve surgery and a cardiologist experienced in mitral valve disease, and in whom existing comorbidities would not preclude the expected benefit from reduction of the mitral regurgitation.1 More information, including important safety information, can be found at



1. MitraClip® NT Instructions for Use.

2. Medline Plus. Mitral valve regurgitation. Available at Accessed on November 3, 2016.

3. Lim DS, Kar S, Herrmann HC, et al. Mid-term Durability of Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair in Patients With Severe Degenerative Mitral Regurgitation and Prohibitive Surgical Risk. 2016 ACC Presentation.




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