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"Robotic Heart Bypass Yields Quick Recovery"


Roy R., 67, underwent heart bypass surgery on Dec. 13. A mere four weeks later, he was enjoying one of his favorite hobbies ice fishing. A major factor in his rapid recovery was the fact that his surgery was performed robotically. Louis Albert Trey Brunsting, III, MD, of Mercy Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates, used the da Vinci® Surgical Robot to perform the procedure.

They said this technology is being used more and more for this type of procedure, Roy said. I felt very confident going into surgery, and I have been amazed at the results.

Roy had been having trouble breathing and was experiencing what he describes as not pain, but a heaviness in the chest. His wife made an appointment for him with his primary care provider.

He advised a stress test, and it showed a small oddity in there that suggested a heart cath, Roy said. I had that done, and they found a blockage. The doctor explained my options, and my wife and I decided it would be best to go ahead with a bypass. Dr. Hashmi (Fayyaz Hashmi, MD, Mercy Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates) came to see me before we left the hospital, and he suggested we could get it done with a machine. We agreed, and the surgery was scheduled for one week later. I was amazed they could get me in that quickly. In between, the hospital contacted me, and I met with nurses to discuss what would happen with the surgery. They also went over all the insurance coverage information. I felt very well prepared.

Roys surgery went smoothly, and he was thrilled with his care after surgery.

It was like the hospital staff couldnt do enough for me, he said. The nurses watched over me like a mother would her child. They were always checking on me, and they really stayed on top of the pain medications. The second night I was there I had a horrendous headache, and they took care of it right away with medication. It seemed like they were in there checking on me about every 30 minutes to make sure I wasnt in pain and to see if I needed anything. They took such good care of me and never for a moment left me to wonder what would happen next or worry if I would be OK. And the day I went home, a nurse came in and went over all of the medications I would need to take now.

Roy said he also really appreciated the Huggy pillow he received from Mended Hearts. (The soft but firm pillow - with Mended Hearts' name and logo on the front is intended to help cushion a patient's tender chest area when he or she coughs after open-heart surgery.)

That was one of the best little blessings they could give me, he said. It really helped me to sleep and to get up and down without pain.

Best of all, Roy was grateful that he was able to undergo heart bypass surgery and get back to his normal activities so quickly.

That I could have heart surgery and to be released from the hospital after just two days is amazing to me, Roy said. Ive always been a very active guy, and I couldnt wait to get back to the gym. I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Kabour (Ameer Kabour, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Cardiologist), and he told me I could increase the two miles a day I was walking on the treadmill up to four miles and also suggested I try an aerobics class. I am up to three miles on the treadmill; I have resumed my household chores, and I plan to check out that class soon. I am not 100 percent yet, but I am getting there. I dont think you can ever call it a wonderful experience when you need an operation, but this definitely turned out to be an experience beyond my expectations. I expected a lot more pain and suffering, but it was really limited, and the healing went so well. I could not have asked for a better outcome.

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