Aortic Valve Replacement Video: Bob's Story

Bob has aortic valve replacement to treat congestive heart failure
Bob was hesitant to undergo a second open-heart procedure to treat his congestive heart failure, and is relieved to discover a new procedure that could replace his failing aortic valve without open-heart surgery.
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Bob: There’s a lot of bicyclists. And I get to know a lot of them because I try to come over here quite, quite a bit. We can go a little bit slower, right? And then we….
Dr. Raghava GollapudiHe’s got severe aortic stenosis which is a narrowing of the heart valve, so blood can’t get out of the heart. Blood backs up into the lungs and patients become short of breath with exertion.
Anita, Bob's Wife: There’s quite a difference in this man, from what he was before.
Dr. Robert Adamson: We can restore his life, not only lengthen it, but we can restore it back to health. He’s an avid cyclist, who actually cycled clear across the United States.
Bob: We had to average 85 miles a day. And I was 68 at the time. They’re going to replace my aortic valve. I’ll be able to bike with Manny.
Manny: Actually that’s not going to be too hard. 
Bob: You know what? When you ride that bike you’re a kid again. And what better, what better thing to have when you’re 84 years old.
Anita: Thirty years, and not one fight.
Bob: Maybe we better start one. We’ve traveled the world together. We just, we’re just one, we’re just simpatico. What more can I say? God gives you what you ask sometimes, and if you grab it, you’ll win.
Anita: Without him, won’t be my life.
Dr. Gollapudi: We’re going to be replacing his old aortic valve with a new aortic valve without having to open up the chest. Now, for Bob this is great because he’s already had open-heart surgery once, and this just makes it so much easier for him.
You have any questions for me?
Bob: No, I think we’ve talked a lot.
Dr. Gollapudi: (Laughs)
Bob: I didn’t want my chest opened again.
Anita: We thought he had no options to make his life better.
Bob: I didn’t even know this was available until recently. And it hasn’t been available….
Anita: Brand, brand-new.
Tina Orsag, Cardiovascular Technician: You all right? You ready?
Every patient that walks through our doors, you know, we really take that patient into our arms and just help them feel comfortable. Them and their family.
Dr. Adamson: If he chose not to have this procedure, the only thing he could look forward to was progressive shortness of breath. Eventually being bedridden and dying of heart failure.
Anita: Love you. OK, all right, it's going to be OK, it's going to be OK.
Dr. Gollapudi: Today’s procedure in terms of complexity is a 10 out of 10. It’s the most complex procedure that I do. It’s extremely high risk. We have 16 people in the room, 6 doctors, 4 different specialties, all working together as a team to make sure we have a great outcome for Bob.
Dr. Adamson: An 80-year-old enjoys waking up tomorrow just as much as a 10-year-old. Tomorrow is all we all have.
Dr. Gollapudi: We take this new valve, and we place it on a balloon, we crimp down so we can get to the patient’s arteries in his groin.
Dr. Adamson: Make a little incision right here.
OR Team: Pigtail going in.
Dr. Gollapudi: What I do, as an interventional cardiologist, is I implant the valve itself.
OR Team: Balloon’s going in. And inject please. Going up.
Dr. Gollapudi: That is the patient’s new aortic valve.
Tina: Every patient is important. Just knowing what their lifestyle was like before, what they hope to achieve by getting this procedure, it really hits home for me. So when we deployed that stent I was internally cheering.
OR Team: We’ll just take a quick pressure measurement…
Dr. Gollapudi: Patients are able to go home in two to three days and they do as well as they would have with traditional open-heart surgery. That’s the best thing. Let’s go talk to the family.
Hello! How are you doing?
Anita: Smiling … you’re smiling.
Dr. Gollapudi: Everything went great.
Anita: It’s OK?
Dr. Gollapudi: He did really, really well.
Patients are able to go back to biking or go back to walking normally. They can try to live for that next birthday or that next anniversary.
Tina: I was thinking about you the whole time I was in there.
Anita: Oh, thank you.
Tina: No problem. He did well.
Anita: Now I can cry. I’m just so happy.
Tina: Just the worry she must have felt every morning. That you know, you want your husband there when you wake up, your best friend, and so now she got him back. So I’m happy for Anita.
Bob and Anita: (Inaudible)
Ellie Matthews, RN: If he would have had open-heart surgery he would have been in the surgical intensive care unit for days on end. Lots of rehabilitation afterward so this is remarkable.
Eleven times around is a mile.
Bob: I might take off here.
Anita: It will be wonderful to see him coming around the corner.
Bob: All I had to do was step on the pedal. (Laugh) Back in the saddle again. How lucky can you get? This new procedure comes along just when I, I need it. I don’t think I would have finished the year.
Anita: You look so good. You’re just so fast, you look so good.
Bob: Baby, I dropped them off.
My hope is that we’ll soon be able to hit the road and get a few little trips in.
Anita: I don’t think it's going to be too long the way he’s going. He’s ready to go.

Bob: I’m back!

Anita: Love you, honey.

Bob: Great life.

Anita: Great life. And now we have more of it.

Bob: Now we have more of it.

For More Heart Valve Surgery Information
To learn more about heart valve surgery at Sharp Memorial Hospital, send us an email and a cardiac specialist will contact you directly. To learn more about Bob's heart procedure, read Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).