June 28, 2019


Advancing Cardiovascular Care for Patients and Families

APPLETON, Wis. – ThedaCare is proud to announce it will now be the first healthcare system in Northeast and Central Wisconsin to offer the MitraClip procedure. MitraClip is a leading therapy that allows skilled ThedaCare cardiologists to repair leaky mitral heart valves, called mitral regurgitation.

“As the area leader in both inpatient and outpatient cardiac procedures, we know it’s important to use the best technology and advancements that are available,” said Scott Betzelos, MD, ThedaCare’s Chief Clinical Officer and President of the Clinically Integrated Network. “MitraClip allows us to offer the most comprehensive heart care possible to patients, close to home.”

MitraClip is the first transcatheter mitral valve intervention therapy approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat select heart failure patients with mitral regurgitation (MR). According to studies, mitral regurgitation is the most common heart valve disease and affects one in 10 adults over the age of 75. The procedure is a less-invasive treatment option, targeting patients who are high risk for open-heart surgery. Unlike surgery, MitraClip does not require opening the chest or temporarily stopping the heart.

“The technology used with MitraClip is minimally invasive and patients will have shorter recovery period compared to open heart surgery,” said Abdelkader Almanfi, MD, director of the ThedaCare Structural Heart Program. “Patients usually recover within one to two days, allowing them to get back to their lives and loved ones.”

The MitraClip device repairs MR and is delivered to the heart through a small incision in the groin. The device clips together portions of the mitral valve, located between the heart’s two left chambers, to reduce the backflow of blood and restore the heart's ability to pump oxygenated blood more efficiently. Left untreated, MR can cause other more serious problems to your heart, such as heart failure.

“By bringing this procedure to our area, we are able to help patients with leaky mitral valves improve their quality of life,” said Dr. Almanfi. “Patients receiving this procedure tend to experience an improvement in heart function and the ability to perform day-to-day tasks.”

ThedaCare will be the only healthcare system using the therapy within an hour-and-a-half distance of the Fox Valley area. The cardiologists who perform the therapy are highly-skilled, having completed required training directly from MitraClip.

“Our team is bringing new procedures to our patients not seen before in our area,” said Dr. Betzelos. “MitraClip is just one way that we are advancing cardiovascular care and enhancing our mission of improving the health of the communities we serve.”

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 7,000 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

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Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.