There are simple things that seem like no big deal for most people, but for Martha Gaines walking up and down the steps is a major accomplishment.

Martha Gaines, a patient, says, "I would have pain, lots of palpitations, sometimes I would be dizzy if it is a lot of steps."

Martha had three previous open heart surgeries. She was diagnosed with a leaky valve, but wasn't considered a good candidate for surgery. So, the past two or three years was difficult until recently, thanks to breakthrough technology to correct a leaky valve.

The MitraClip is now available to patients in our area.

It's patients like Martha who suffer from the following symptoms: light-headedness, rapid heartbeat, heart fluttering or palpitations, and fatigue.

Channel 3 sat down with Dr. Allen Atchley from CHI Memorial who says this procedure is a game changer.

Dr. Allen Atchley says, "The MitraClip is a really big deal because it offers a treatment for a leaky valve that wasn't available before just a few years ago."

Dr. Atchley says they are now able to offer this treatment to patients who previously had no other options. They were considered too high risk for surgery and just had to live with the condition.

With this procedure no surgical incisions are needed. Patients usually spend one night in the hospital and go home the next day.

Dr. Atchley says, "What the clip is designed to do is to cross the valve, grab the redundant tissue, bring these together."

The procedure closes the gap.

Dr. Atchley says, "So you grab those segments, bring them together, you go from a single orphis to a double barrel and prevent leakage."

Dr. Atchley says patients usually see immediate results. The MitraClip certainly made a big difference for Martha Gaines.

Martha says, "But it has worked wonderfully; it allowed me to go upstairs not out of breath."

For more information on the heart valve clinic at CHI Memorial or MitraClip, call (423) 495-4327 or click here to send an email.