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Published on December 03, 2021

MitraClip™ Patient Story

Healthy Heart story and image of Maureen Groves

“After my MitraClip™ at Cottage, my recovery was quick,
and I felt like myself again.” – Maureen Groves

Maureen moved to Santa Barbara to attend UCSB, met her husband, Mark, there, and they have made Santa Barbara their home ever since. Maureen was a physical therapist for 37 years before retiring. These days, she lives an active life and enjoys regular hikes with Mark and their rescue dog, Maggie.

In October 2020, she was vacationing in Cambria when she stood up and suddenly had difficulty breathing. She felt a fluttering sensation in her chest, and her blood pressure jumped to 200/150.

Maureen called 911 and was rushed to a hospital in San Luis Obispo. From there she was referred to the Cottage Heart & Vascular Center and Michael Shenoda, MD, one of the center’s interventional cardiologists. She discovered the mitral valve in her heart was not opening and closing properly -- a condition known as mitral valve regurgitation, which causes blood to flow backward or leak in the heart.

At Cottage Heart & Vascular Center in Santa Barbara, Maureen learned she was a candidate for MitraClip™, a minimally-invasive procedure used to treat patients with her condition. In cases of mitral regurgitation, blood moving backward through the mitral valve is pushed into the lungs, increasing the workload of the heart and often causing fatigue and shortness of breath. If not treated, severe mitral valve regurgitation can cause arrhythmia -- an irregular heartbeat -- or heart failure.

Dr. Shenoda and his team performed the MitraClip™ procedure on Maureen at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and Maureen made a fast recovery. “When I woke up after the procedure, I felt like going out and running,” she said.

“I had a great experience at Cottage, and I felt like I was with friends,” she said. “Everyone there made my experience super comfortable,” she said.

These days, Maureen is back to the life she loves, including those hikes with Mark and Maggie.

Three Minimally-Invasive Treatment Options at One Heart Center

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

The Cottage Heart & Vascular Center is a national leader in interventional cardiology. Cottage is the only hospital on California’s Central Coast that provides all three minimally invasive treatments.

  1. TAVR – Replaces valve for aortic stenosis
  2. MitraClip™ - Repairs leaky valve
  3. Watchman™ - Reduces stroke risk due to atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeat

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Benefits of Minimally Invasive Heart Treatments

Evelyn Alberts - TAVR Patient - Cottage Heart & Vascular Center

  • Improved heart function
  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Relief of symptoms
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Lower risk of complications
  • Quicker return to daily activities

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Patients Treated at the Cottage Heart & Vascular Center

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Heart Surgeons

TAVR – 668
MitraClip™ - 125
Watchman™ - 534

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