MitraClip Surgery
David Shavelle, M.D., Medical Director, Adult Cardiology & Interventional Lab, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Medical Center, performing 100th MitraClip procedure with his medical team.

MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center continues to establish itself as a premier destination for minimally invasive cardiology care with the completion of its 100th MitraClip™ procedure. MitraClip is a breakthrough in the growing category of minimally invasive heart procedures and an alternative for patients who are not surgical candidates.

Mitral regurgitation occurs when there is a problem with the mitral valve in the heart, causing the blood to flow backwards, putting extra strain on the heart and valves. If left untreated, it can cause serious complications such as heart failure. During a MitraClip procedure, the interventional cardiologist attaches a clip to the leaflets of the mitral valve, improving blood flow throughout the heart.

“Thanks to MitraClip being a minimally invasive procedure, patients can expect a reduced hospital stay while also lowering their risk usually associated with post-operative complications. The advanced nature of the MitraClip procedure is proving to be the best option for patients with mitral regurgitation,” says David Shavelle, M.D., medical director, adult cardiology and interventional lab, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute. 

Dr. Shavelle performed this milestone procedure on Elizabeth Iapello, who was not a surgical candidate due to a high risk for surgical complications. Ms. Iapello was presenting signs of declining health a few weeks before being admitted. Due to the minimally invasive nature of MitraClip, Ms. Iapello only needed to stay in the hospital one night, in a non-intensive care unit setting. Iapello noticed a change immediately after the MitraClip procedure, no longer experiencing a shortness of breath, she had more energy and the ability to begin exercising again. Overall, her quality of life has improved.

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the procedure and Elizabeth is already showing signs of an excellent recovery,” says Dr. Shavelle.

Elizabeth L. Mitraclip
Iapello had decreasing quality of life, and wasn’t a candidate for surgery, however the 100th MitraClip procedure changed her life and is now living happy and healthy.

The MitraClip procedure is a highly specialized structural heart cardiac procedure that has been used by interventional cardiologists along with specially trained imaging cardiologists at the Heart & Vascular Institute over the past two years.

Offering the latest in advanced technologies, The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center has nationally recognized physicians and innovative treatments to provide the complete continuum of cardiovascular care. The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute provides best practice treatments, research and support programs that are delivered with the latest technology in a dedicated Cath Lab and operating rooms configured to fulfill the unique requirements of cardiovascular medicine.

“I am so pleased that we have this wonderful hospital with such advanced abilities right here in Long Beach. The medical team in the Cath Lab was positive, up-beat, and reassuring. I knew I was in the best place for the procedure and that everything would come out okay,” says Iapello.