Dame Elizabeth Taylor to Have 'Clip' Procedure to Repair Heart Valve

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Twitter is the source that Dame Elizabeth Taylor, 77, used to let the world know she is undergoing heart surgery. Yesterday she tweeted, “It's very new and involves repairing my leaky valve using a clip device, without open heart surgery, so that my heart will function better.”

Taylor was made an honorary dame by the Queen in 2000. In addition to this latest health problem, Dame Taylor has suffered from many health issues over the past several years. In 1995,she had a hip replacement and, two years later, had surgery for a brain tumor. She is reported to have severe osteoporosis with multiple vertebral fractures.

The “clip” procedure she refers to in her tweet is most likely the MitraClip discussed in 2005 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and more recently at this year's Transcatheter Cardiovascular Theraputics conference.

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The MitraClip is used for mitral valve regurgitation (MR). MR happens when the heart's mitral valve doesn't close tightly, which allows blood to flow backward in your heart. Mitral valve regurgitation is also called mitral insufficiency or mitral incompetence.

The Clip is placed percutaneously while the patient is under general anesthesia. Fluoroscopy and echocardiographic guidance are used to guide the placement of the clip.

More than 75% of patients have favorable results achieving MR reduction to 2+ or less, and in 64 percent of these, MR reduction to 1+ was achieved. There were no cases of clip embolization or procedural mortality reported.

Sources
BBC News
DameElizabeth (Taylor’s twitter account)
Percutaneous mitral valve repair using the edge-to-edge technique: six-month results of the EVEREST Phase I Clinical Trial; J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Dec 6;46(11):2134-40. Epub 2005 Oct 19.

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