Patient back on feet a day after heart surgery - FOX34 Lubbock

Patient back on feet a day after heart surgery

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When arteries harden, open heart surgery is almost always necessary. For some, this procedure can be life threatening and can keep patients in the hospital for months. 

David Yeager had heart surgery about three weeks ago.

"I might even enter the national limbo contest or something coming up here," TAVR patient David Yeager said.

It all started with a bad heart value. Aortic Stenosis is when calcium builds up and restricts the aortic valve, so blood doesn't get out of the heart to go to the aorta. About eight years ago, that gave him a heart attack.

"For the first time in my life, I was taking a little four wheeler down as close as I could get to the blind so I didn't have to walk so far, that just made me sick," Yeager said.

"He was more tired, he was more short of breath, he loves and enjoys hunting and he couldn't do that anymore," Covenant Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Mohammad Otahbachi said.

A few years ago, Dr. Otahbachi suggested open heart surgery and Yeager refused. 

"I was saying please, I don't want to be split open. I had a lot of stuff I needed to do and deer season had started and I sure didn't want to be healing six months you know," Yeager said.

His doctor suggested another option, a Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Replacement. That's a minimally invasive procedure done with a catheter up the leg. A whole team of cardiologists and the heart surgeon agreed, Yeager would be a great candidate. 

"All of us we sit in the same room, we look at the same screen, we review the angeogram for each patient, we review the sonogram and ultrasound for patients, we review their past medical histories and collectively we have almost like a voting system to see what's the best for this patient," Dr. Otahbachi said.

They also tend to choose patients who will recover faster from the procedure. 

Yeager had the surgery Monday.

"The whole time there was never any pain, I mean kind of like a miracle deal," Yeager said.

By Wednesday, he was doing pretty much everything he wanted to.

"Like all the guys at the deer lease when I showed up that second weekend, they were all running around trying to help me and I said I'm not an ambulant, I'm back to normal," Yeager said. 

Yeager thanks his doctor for saving his life and said this procedure has changed him forever. His doctor said that is the ultimate satisfaction for any physician. 



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