ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis University cardiac surgeons now have a new option for mitral valve repair – one that doesn’t involve cutting open a patient’s chest.

The chief of cardiac surgery at St. Louis University Hospital, SLU Care’s Dr. Richard Lee, says the procedure is a non-invasive approach to fix a leaky mitral valve.

“This is really exciting. It’s one of the most exciting technologies I’ve ever seen in my career,” Lee says.

They’re are using a device called a Mitra-Clip, where physicians non-surgically thread a catheter from the leg to the heart, and place a clip to stop the valve from leaking.

“This is the first step of many, many more steps to come to the point where, hopefully, it will put me out of business,” Lee says. “And hopefully, down the road, we won’t be able to do open surgery anymore, we’ll be doing these all with a groin poke.”

Lee has performed five of these type of surgeries so far, saying patients go home within a day or two with no restrictions.

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