First VA in Nation to perform Mitraclip surgery - VA North Texas Health Care System
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VA North Texas Health Care System

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First VA in Nation to perform Mitraclip surgery

Group photo of Dr. Brilakis, Mr. Edward Baker, and Dr. Haagan

Doctors and patient reconnect after successful surgery

By Rhea Robinson
Friday, December 19, 2014

"I wanted to live, that is what I wanted to do, I wanted to live" says, Morris Edward Baker. Baker, an Army Veteran, has much to be thankful for. He was the first Veteran to undergo MitraClip surgery at the VA North Texas. MitraClip Percutaneous Mitral Valve Repair System is the first device available to safely perform percutaneous mitral valve repair.

Baker knew something was wrong when he was having difficulty breathing. "I was having bad shortness of breath. I couldn’t walk further than the front of the VA building to the lab. That’s how I knew that something was wrong," says Baker. He then told his Primary Care doctor of his shortness of breath and was immediately referred to Cardiology where Baker was told about a condition called Mitral Regurgitation.

"The procedure was a tremendous success! The pressures in the heart immediately decreased and the patient symptoms immediately improved, "says Dr. Emmanouil Brilakis, Baker's Cardiologist. Dr.Brilakis was extremely proud the VA North Texas Cardiologist team was the first to perform this specialized procedure."This was a technically challenging procedure but was accomplished with the assistance of the OR and cardiology personnel in addition to the administrative support from our Administrative Officer, Ms.Pamela Alexander"said Brilakis.

"We provide world class care at VA North Texas, and this clinical advancement is another example of our commitment to improve the health and well-being of our North Texas Veterans" said Jeff Milligan, Director of VA North Texas.

About Mitral Regurgitation

Mitral regurgitation (MR) is a condition in which the heart's mitral valve leaflets does not close tightly. When this happens, blood flows backward from the heart's left ventricle into the left atrium.The heart must then work harder to push blood through the body, which can cause fatigue, shortness of breath and worsening heart failure. MR is the most common type of heart valve insufficiency in the United States, and approximately 50,000 patients require surgery each year.


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