Patients at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi have become some of the first people outside Europe to benefit from an innovative new procedure to correct mitral valve regurgitation, a life-threatening heart defect.

The new procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgery, enabling physicians to correct mitral valve regurgitation in high-risk patients. Doctors access the patient's heart through a vein in their leg and implant a device to repair their heart valve while it is still beating. This approach leads to much faster recovery times, with patients able to be discharged within one day of surgery.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi's location within the UAE � which benefits from its balance between European and US regulatory systems � ensured that it was among the first hospitals in the world to introduce the procedure after clinical trials. This enabled two Emirati national patients to receive the new procedure ahead of even patients in the US, reflecting the fast pace of development of the nation's healthcare sector.

The first of their kind procedures were performed by Dr. Rakesh Suri, CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and a leading expert on mitral valve repair, and Dr. Mahmoud Traina, an interventional cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. They benefitted from live imaging support from Dr. Ahmed Bafadel, who specializes in cardiac imaging.

A tremendous benefit of practicing in Abu Dhabi is how responsive the regulators are to the needs of the local community. When we approached them about this procedure and presented our supporting evidence, we got approval in just a few weeks. That speed means that our patients are able to access the innovative procedures when they need it, and benefit from new treatments much earlier than they might be in other parts of the world, says Dr. Mahmoud Traina.

Moza Al Kaabi, a 71-year-old mother of 18 became the first patient in the UAE to benefit from the new treatment. Her valve problems had significantly affected her quality of life over the last 12 months, leaving her unable to perform routine daily tasks and leading to repeated hospital stays. She was prioritized to receive this new procedure since issues with her kidneys meant that other treatments � such as transplant surgery � were not realistic options.

The day after my surgery I was amazed, I could walk around and even climbed a flight of stairs for the first time in years. I thank God for my recovery, and I am very proud that our leaders have provided a hospital like Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi here in the UAE, says Moza.

Following her successful treatment, Moza is now able to be placed on the kidney transplant list, providing a much brighter future for her and her family.

Moza is a perfect example of the type of patient that can benefit from this treatment. Not only will she benefit in terms of quality of life thanks to a properly functioning mitral valve, she is now eligible for a kidney transplant that will further improve her quality of life, concludes Dr. Traina.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi's Heart & Vascular Institute is led by some of the world's most respected physicians and surgeons who have access to international expertise through its strong partnership with the US-based Cleveland Clinic. The institute has performed a number of UAE and regional firsts and continues to introduce innovative treatments designed to meet the specific healthcare needs of its community.

Source: Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi