Cooper University Health Care Becomes Region’s Only Hospital to Offer MitraClip Procedure

Heart Valve Device Offers New Options for Patients

Until recently, high-risk heart patients with a severe form of leaky mitral valve disorder, called mitral regurgitation, and who were deemed too frail or sick to undergo open heart surgery had few treatment choices.

Janah Aji, MD, FACC

Janah Aji, MD, FACC

Cooper University Health Care now offers a new treatment option for these patients with the FDA-approved MitraClip device. A medical team including Janah Aji, MD, FACC, Sajjad A. Sabir, MD, and Georges I. Kaddissi, MD, FACC, performed the first commercial-use procedures using the MitraClip in mid-April, making Cooper the only South Jersey health system offering this treatment.

“We are very fortunate to be able to offer this treatment to patients,” said Dr. Aji, who serves as director of the Cooper Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. “It can be a life-changing option for patients suffering with severe mitral regurgitation. Following this procedure, patients who have severe heart failure symptoms due to this condition will experience significant improvement in shortness of breath and fatigue.”

Sajjad A Sabir, MD

Sajjad A Sabir, MD

Cooper was instrumental in clinical trials for the MitraClip and was one of 75 leading heart centers in the United States that participated it the COAPT trial that lead to the FDA approval of this device for patients with functional mitral regurgitation.

Mitral regurgitation affects millions of people worldwide. It is the most common type of heart valve defect, affecting one in 10 people aged 75 and older. The condition occurs when the heart’s mitral valve does not close completely, causing blood to leak backward into the left atrium with every heartbeat.  Mitral regurgitation requires the heart to work harder to maintain an adequate forward flow of blood.  Over time, that can lead to serious heart rhythm problems, stroke, heart failure, and death.

The MitraClip device, manufactured by Abbott Vascular, is a small clip that is attached to a patient’s mitral valve. It treats mitral regurgitation by allowing the valve to close more completely, helping to restore normal blood flow through the heart.

Georges I Kaddissi, MD, FACC

Georges I Kaddissi, MD, FACC

“As a high volume cardiac center, the Cooper Heart Institute has long been a leader in clinical trials and utilization of new devices for the treatment of structural heart conditions,” said Dr. Sabir, director of the Cooper Structural Heart Disease Program. “Cooper is proud to be a leader in testing and using these new devices which are rapidly expanding options for patients with these conditions.”

The Cooper Heart Institute is the most comprehensive heart care center in southern New Jersey, earning national recognition for its superior quality and world-renowned team of cardiovascular experts. Cooper was recognized as a top performing hospital for treating congestive heart failure in U.S. News & World Report’s 2018-2019 Best Hospitals survey. At Cooper, patients have access to a full spectrum of heart care from prevention and diagnosis to cutting-edge technology and innovative treatment.

In 2018, Cooper and Inspira Health Network formed a joint venture to integrate cardiac services. This affiliation, called Cardiac Partners at Cooper and Inspira, provides patients in the South Jersey region with access to more coordinated cardiac services across the continuum of care.


Wendy A. Marano
Public Relations Manager

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