Cardiac Partners at Cooper and Inspira First in Region to Reach Heart Valve Device Milestone

Carmen Solis who successfully underwent the Mitral Valve procedure is joined by (from left to right) her daughter Martha Jimenez, and Cardiac Partners team members Cecilia Sebastiani, RN, and Barbara Wenning, APN.

Cardiac Partners Structural Heart team celebrated the 100th successful implantation of the lifesaving Mitral Clip. The Mitral Clip is a device for high-risk heart patients who have a severe form of leaky mitral valve disorder, called mitral regurgitation, and who were deemed too frail or sick to undergo open heart surgery. This new FDA-approved treatment was first offered at Cooper in the Spring of 2019. The Cardiac Partners team successfully performed the 100th procedure on a Camden woman.

A medical team including Janah Aji, MD, FACC, Sajjad A. Sabir, MD, both members of Cardiac Partners at Cooper and Inspira, and Georges I. Kaddissi, MD, FACC, member of the medical staffs at both Cooper and Inspira, performed the first commercial-use procedures using the MitraClip and now the 100th procedure.

“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.”

As one of 75 leading heart centers in the United States participating in the COAPT clinical trial, the Cardiac Partners team’s work at Cooper was instrumental in securing FDA approval for the MitraClip to help patients suffering from 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.

“As a high volume cardiac center, we have 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. “Cardiac Partners is proud to be a leader in testing and using these new devices which are rapidly expanding options for patients with these conditions.”

In 2018, Cooper and Inspira Health Network formed a joint venture to integrate cardiac services. This affiliation, called Cardiac Partners at Cooper and Inspira, brings together the best-in-class cardiology practices and innovative health care systems of two leading medical providers: Cooper University Health Care and Inspira Health. The combination of the two makes Cardiac Partners the largest cardiac program in South Jersey. To learn more, visit



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