I’m Kumar*, and I’ve been a cardiac surgeon for 16 years, and specialize in valve and bypass procedures at a major heart institute. This is the brief story of one of my patients, which in many ways is typical of what I see every day.
Christoph at presentation
Christoph is 75 years old and was referred to me for severe aortic stenosis accompanied by dyspnea and progressive angina. The symptoms had a major impact on his quality of life. He described his symptoms as incapacitating, and was not able to walk to the nearby bus stop without stopping several times. He was sent to me after he lost consciousness following a short walk outside. It was apparent that Christoph needed an aortic valve replacement.
Aortic valve replacement
I chose a Perceval valve for Christoph’s for several reasons. One of the most important features of the Perceval valve is that it is truly and completely sutureless, and can be deployed immediately following removal of the diseased valve. This means that I can easily save at least 30−45 min of surgical time when the heart is stopped. In my opinion, this is the most crucial period of the procedure, and the ability to make this phase as short as possible helps to improve postoperative recovery, especially in elderly and frail patients such as Christoph.
Christoph’s postoperative course was uneventful. He has no symptoms, and has an active lifestyle for someone his age. As far as his heart goes, he now says that he ‘feels nothing’ and can do everything he wants without difficulty. In his words, ‘I feel great’. At 1.5 years after the operation, he is currently in active follow-up with his cardiologist, and has no clinical issues.
*This story is based on a physician's testimonial.