| Donald J. Burke of Franklin Square is doing well following a successful procedure utililizing the Abbot MitraClip®at NYU Winthrop Hospital .
Donald J. Burke of Franklin Square was 87 and suffering from mitral regurgitation (MR) when he was told by doctors that he needed mitral valve surgery. MR is a debilitating, progressive and life-threatening disease in which a leaky mitral valve causes a reversal of flow, sending blood from the heart back to the lungs, where it causes congestion. Mr. Burke was having difficulty breathing, and at the point where progressive heart failure was severely limiting his activities. But due to a myriad of other medical problems, he was not a viable candidate for open heart surgery, the traditional treatment for MR.
"My health was deteriorating due to my condition," the proud World War II Navy veteran, now 88, shared recently. "On the horizon was a new mitral valve clip procedure. I was excited about the possibility and was so pleased to be accepted as a candidate for this procedure."
Physicians at NYU Winthrop are among the first in the United States to offer patients suffering from MR and congestive heart failure this breakthrough new minimally invasive treatment. Thanks to a recent procedure utilizing the Abbot MitraClip® performed by a team of doctors including interventional cardiologists Daniel Donohue, MD, and Srihari S. Naidu, MD, FACC, FSCAI, FAHA, Director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at NYU Winthrop, as well as cardiothoracic surgeon William Kokotos, MD, Director of Academic Affairs for the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Mr. Burke is off all of his congestive heart failure medications. In addition, his breathing to-date is better and continually improving, as is his stamina.
This technology is another example of the outstanding and truly cutting-edge cardiology services that NYU Winthrop provides, one which significantly improves the quality of life for our patients and offers hope when other treatments, including surgery, are not a good option."
- Srihari S. Naidu, MD
"I am walking farther and feel much improvement as the days and weeks go on," said Mr. Burke. "I am grateful to the doctors at NYU Winthrop for giving me this chance at a better life, for me and my loved ones."
Using MitraClip, NYU Winthrop physicians are able to repair the mitral valve without the need for an open heart surgical procedure. The Mitraclip device is delivered to the heart through the femoral vein, a blood vessel in the leg, and once implanted, allows the heart to pump blood more efficiently, thereby relieving symptoms and improving patient quality of life. Eight patients who received the MitraClip at NYU Winthrop, including Mr. Burke, mark the first eight commercially implanted devices on Long Island.
"This technology is another example of the outstanding and truly cutting-edge cardiology services that NYU Winthrop provides, one which significantly improves the quality of life for our patients and offers hope when other treatments, including surgery, are not a good option," said Dr. Naidu. The MitraClip team includes Dr. Donohue and Dr. Naidu; Dr. Kokotos; cardiologist Juan Gaztanaga, MD, Director, Cardiac MRI/CT; cardiologist Beevash Ray, MD, Associate Director, Advanced Imaging; and cardiologist George Gubernikoff, MD, Director, Clinical Cardiac Services.
Symptoms of MR and congestive heart failure include difficulty breathing and extreme fatigue, and the traditional treatment has been open heart surgery. However, many patients, like Mr. Burke, are at too high a risk for a full surgical procedure, or are simply not candidates, so the condition can be hard or impossible to treat. If left untreated, heart failure progresses and compromises quality of life. This new treatment, which received FDA approval in late 2013, can bring about a significant improvement for a patient suffering from MR, comparable to surgical repair.
Since the surgery, Mr. Burke has seen marked improvement, according to his daughter, Cathleen Burke-Quinn of Glen Head, and Dr. Donohue. He is no longer short of breath, has no chest pain, his kidney function has improved and his doctors were able to decrease the amount of medications he was on for his heart failure.
"I am thankful, as is our whole family, to NYU Winthrop and all of the doctors who took such wonderful care of him," said Ms. Burke-Quinn. "It was so comforting to have a team where each of them took time to explain the procedure along with answering all of our questions, making sure that we understood each step of the way."
More than 11,000 patients in more than 30 countries have been treated with the MitraClip device. NYU Winthrop is the first Hospital on Long Island to offer this option commercially as part of the company's nationwide launch.
"We hope that this procedure can help many others, as it has helped Dad to live his time with us more comfortable and happy," said Ms. Burke-Quinn.
To learn more about the comprehensive services offered at NYU Winthrop's Heart and Vascular Institute, or for a physician referral, call 1-866-WINTHROP.