SHREVEPORT, La — Robin Prothro was identified with a coronary heart murmur when she was 12 years outdated. An energetic, outdoorsy particular person, Prothro didn’t have any apparent signs of a coronary heart difficulty.
“The physician mentioned it’s frequent and nothing to fret about,” she mentioned.
So, she took his recommendation and didn’t fear about it, till her sister died unexpectedly from a coronary heart situation.
“I made a decision to go forward and have issues checked out,” mentioned Prothro.
After some preliminary checks, she was referred to Dr. Tim Danish of Christus Shreveport-Bossier Well being. Despite the fact that Prothro was not feeling any extreme signs, Danish mentioned her coronary heart was straining to work correctly.
“She had a congenitally bicuspid aortic valve,” mentioned Danish. “And that results in one thing known as aortic stenosis, the place the valve can’t open correctly.”
“My aortic valve was faulty since beginning, and was beginning to accumulate calcium deposits and stiffening up,” defined Prothro. “And its capacity to work successfully was solely going to worsen.”
Danish defined additional: “That valve separates the pumping chamber of the guts from the physique by means of that tight valve. It opens and closes with every heartbeat. Hers had bother opening.”
Prothro wanted an aortic valve substitute, which requires open-heart surgical procedure. Whereas not an emergency, she determined to have the process carried out whereas she was nonetheless robust sufficient to get better shortly. She typically travels solo, and feared she could also be climbing or kayaking alone and unable to get to a hospital in an emergency. She additionally feared one thing else.
“All I may consider have been the surgical procedures from a few years in the past when the incision could be from the bottom of your neck all the best way right down to your navel and restoration time was normally months and months, flat in your again,” Prothro mentioned.
However to her shock, Dr. Danish was in a position to supply a less-invasive strategy, with a smaller incision and fewer downtime.
“We stopped her coronary heart, we opened it up, we lower out the unhealthy valve, we put a brand new valve in, closed every thing again up and he or she did nice,” Danish mentioned. “And he or she went house about 4 or 5 days after surgical procedure.”
Prothro was thrilled with the outcomes.
“I used to be anticipating a four-inch scar, hoping for a three-inch scar. However I ended up with two little inches. That’s it!” she mentioned. “I truthfully do not know how Dr. Danish was in a position to do what he did in such a small working area.”
“I used to be actually pleased to have the ability to supply it to Robin, and I am completely thrilled that she is happy with the result,” mentioned Danish.
Inside months, Prothro was again to climbing in Utah.
“I’ll go do all of the enjoyable issues I love to do. I feel I’ll break down and purchase myself a kayak,” she mentioned with a smile.
Prothro and Danish mentioned you will need to get checked recurrently, particularly if there’s a historical past of coronary heart illness in your loved ones. You must also hearken to your physique. Oftentimes, it will provide you with a sign when one thing is flawed.
The minimally invasive strategy Danish carried out on Prothro is out there for some valve substitute surgical procedures. Test along with your physician to see should you’re a candidate.