Marshall Health Network offers breakthrough minimally-invasive treatment for patients with heart valve leakage

Monday, April 1, 2024

The Marshall Cardiology and St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute teams pose for a photo following the organizations’ first MitraClip procedure in February.

The MitraClip™ procedure is now available at Marshall Health Network to treat individuals suffering from mitral valve regurgitation. The FDA-approved, minimally-invasive procedure addresses valve leakage and improves overall cardiac function.

Marshall Health interventional cardiologist and structural heart specialist Salem Badr, M.D., an assistant professor at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, performed the first MitraClip procedure at St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute in February followed by the Institute’s second MitraClip procedure in March.

“This is a groundbreaking advancement in cardiology," Badr said. “This procedure, for a select group of patients, offers a less invasive alternative to traditional open-heart surgery and allows patients to experience faster recovery times and improved quality of life."

The MitraClip procedure, also known as transcatheter edge-to-edge repair (TEER), utilizes a small device called the MitraClip to effectively stop leaking in the mitral valve. The device is placed on the mitral valve using a minimally-invasive approach with a flexible, hollow tube known as a catheter. By grasping and clipping together the leaflets of the mitral valve, the MitraClip reduces regurgitation, allowing the valve to function more effectively and improving overall heart health.

Mitral valve regurgitation occurs when the mitral valve does not close properly, causing blood to flow backward into the heart. This condition can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue and heart palpitations, significantly impacting a patient's quality of life. The MitraClip procedure offers a promising solution for patients who may not be suitable candidates for traditional open-heart surgery.

“Our team of experienced interventional cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons offers the highest quality care and the latest advancements in cardiovascular medicine to our region,” said Mehiar El-Hamdani, M.D., professor and chair of cardiovascular services at the School of Medicine. “The introduction of the MitraClip procedure promises to significantly enhance patients’ quality of life, enabling them to lead healthier and more active lifestyles.”

“St. Mary’s is truly the heart of heart care in our region and has been for more than 45 years,” said Melissa Mielcarek, executive director of St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute. “Our outstanding MitraClip team, including Dr. Badr, Nepal Chowdhury, M.D., and Zachary Curtis, M.D., as well as our experienced staff, are pleased to be able to offer this advanced procedure that allows our patients to get back to their lives faster.”

For more information about the MitraClip procedure, mitral valve replacement or to schedule an appointment, visit For appointments and referrals, call Marshall Cardiology, a provider-based department of Cabell Huntington Hospital, at 304-691-8500. For more information about St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute, visit