This medical video looks at the new technology that is being used to help mend a leaking heart.
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Jennifer Matthews: A walk in the park is something Trevor Gatty doesn't take for granted these days. Before having a leaky heart valve repaired, this simple stroll would have left him exhausted. Trevor Gatty: I used to walk to the store, and by the time I got back, I felt quite knackered. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Michael Rinaldi says Trevor's condition caused blood to leak backward, while the heart tried to pump it forward. Dr. Michael Rinaldi: When that valve becomes leaky, the heart can actually fail. It can stop pumping well and that manifests itself as trouble breathing, heart failure and can eventually lead to death. Jennifer Matthews: Mitral valve leaks are usually treated with open heart surgery. But Trevor took part in a clinical trial testing an experimental procedure that only requires a small incision in the groin. Dr. Michael Rinaldi: Using ultrasound guidance, we're able to actually grab the two leaflets of that valve and clip them together with this new small device. Jennifer Matthews: Once the clip is in place, blood flows normally. The new approach reduces the risk of complications, decreases pain and dramatically shortens recovery time. Dr. Michael Rinaldi: We've been very excited with the results. Three quarters of the patients are being helped, and that's fantastic when there was no alternative before. Jennifer Matthews: For Trevor, the benefits were clear almost immediately. Trevor Gatty: About two weeks after the surgery, I suddenly found myself marching as though I was back in the army marching around the parade ground, just walking briskly and enjoying it. Jennifer Matthews: And now he can enjoy all of life's simple pleasures. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.