Breathing Easier After Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

<img class="wp-image-35328 size-full" src="" alt=" Surgery to replace a failed heart valve gave Dorothy Ganong the quality of life and allowed her to engage in an active lifestyle. "Width =" 805 "height =" 453 "/>

Andrew Calvin, MD, in Cardiology, and Dorothy Ganong were part of the event Her Story, Her Heart in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Surgery to replace a failed heart valve restores Dorothy Ganong's quality of life and restores her ability to lead an active life.

Dorothy Ganong of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, struggled with laborious breathing for over two years. She would be out of breath halfway up a staircase and practically crawling up to the top. For an average day, Dorothy often sat in her chair to catch her breath, but she was a busy woman who wanted to get things done. She says it was frustrating to think that her life was slowing down a lot.

"I could tell that my breathing was really bad," she says. It was then that Dorothy decided that it was time to make a change.

An Assessment at the Valve Assessment Clinic at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire revealed that Dorothy had a severe narrowing of the aortic valve of his heart – a condition known as Aortic Valve Stenosis . This severely hampered the flow of blood out of his heart and caused him symptoms.

After Dorothy's diagnosis, her care team recommended cardiac surgery to replace the valve in the hope of allowing her to return to the active life she enjoys.

"Combining all the skills and expertise of our multidisciplinary team and working with the patient according to their needs and lifestyle allows us to select the procedure and take advantage of the best skills of each participant , for a better quality of life Fearghas O 'Cochlain, MD an interventional cardiologist, who was part of the team that was providing care to Dorothy.

Capitalizing on the expertise

In July 2016, Dorothy saw an allergist. When the drugs and respiratory treatments did not relieve her symptoms, she was referred to a pulmonologist to determine if she had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . Fortunately, this doctor listened to his concerns and symptoms, and felt that his heart could actually require more care and attention.

Dorothy then met Dr. O. Cochlain, who ordered cardiac tests at the Valve Evaluation Clinic . The clinic provides a comprehensive assessment and diagnostic tests for complex heart valve heart disease . To assess her condition, Dorothy had an angiogram CT . This review combines a computed tomography with an injection of a contrast medium to produce images of blood vessels and tissues, and to evaluate blood flow through the vessels to the heart.

"Working with patients who have an identified heart valve problem, like Dorothy, is a team effort." – Fearghas O 'Cochlain, M.D.

She also underwent radiography, electrocardiogram pulmonary function test, fragility assessment, cardiac catheterization and carotid ultrasound to determine a specific and appropriate intervention, which are an integral part of the Valve Evaluation Clinic.

For most procedures, different tests and consultations are coordinated between interventional cardiologists, radiologists, echo-cardiographers and cardiovascular surgeons. "Working with patients who have an identified heart valve problem, like Dorothy, is a team effort," says Dr. O. Cochlain. This collaboration makes the Heart Center team "unique in the region," says Ann Rufledt medical assistant and coordinator of the Valve Evaluation Clinic.

Returning to Health

After the assessment, Dorothy sat with her son and daughter to share the test results and recommendation of her care team to undergo cardiac surgery called valve replacement aortic transcatheter . She says that she did not have the surgery to live longer. On the contrary, she wanted to continue to live an active life without fear of suffering or not breathing easily.

Dorothy was particularly interested in this procedure because it only requires a small incision instead of a sternotomy, which would involve cutting through the bones of the chest to access the heart. On the day of the procedure, an incision was made in Dorothy's groin. A catheter was inserted through the incision and guided an artery to his heart where the new valve was inserted to replace the under-performing valve.

"I am grateful for the entire team that took care of me at the Mayo Clinic Health System and for all the other patients who had this experience before me and shared their successes. which has encouraged me to do it, too. " – Dorothy Ganong

Dorothy spent four days in the hospital after the operation. The Heart Rehabilitation Team motivated her with exercises and helped her regain confidence in her daily routine. She continued rehabilitation appointments after returning home. A few months later, she began to notice significant changes. She could breathe more easily, go on long trips and sleep better at night.

"It really changed my life," says Dorothy. "I am grateful to all the team that took care of me at the Mayo Clinic Health System and for all the other patients who had this before me and who shared their successes, which even encouraged to do that as well. "

If anyone thinks about having this surgery, Dorothy advises, "Go ahead, do it."

To learn more about Dorothy's story, you can watch a video of Dorothy on the occasion of the Her Story, Her Heart 2017 event at Eau Claire .


Tags: Ann Rufledt Heart Center Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ] Dr. Fearghas O 'Cochlain Mayo Clinic Health System at Eau Claire Pulmonary Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Evaluation Clinic of valve


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