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Dr. Brown has known about his severe heart murmur for 14 years, but avoided surgery until recently because he felt healthy and wasn't experiencing any symptoms of heart failure. His knowledge as a doctor, and urging from his wife who is also a doctor, prompted him to see Dr. Walter Dembitsky, medical director of Cardiac Surgery and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at Sharp Memorial Hospital, for advice on his condition and the best treatment options.
Dr. Brown, 51 years old at the time of his surgery, wanted to repair his ailing heart while he was still healthy and could keep up with his young, busy family. He wanted to avoid getting a heart valve replacement that could require follow-up surgeries over the course of his lifetime. Fortunately, Dr. Dembitsky offered a treatment better suited to Dr. Brown's active lifestyle — minimally invasive mitral valve repair.
Dr. Dembitsky is one of San Diego's most experienced surgeons in mitral valve repair. With mitral valve repair, Dr. Dembitsky was able to fix Dr. Brown's own leaky heart valve rather than replacing it with an artificial valve that is more susceptible to wear and tear.
Dr. Brown underwent minimally invasive surgery in April 2011 and spent just three days at Sharp Memorial. He returned to work less than two weeks after his surgery. He says his experience at Sharp Memorial was unsurpassed and that he felt confident in his care team every step of the way.
In addition to fixing his heart murmur, the mitral valve repair surgery has given Dr. Brown and his family the peace of mind that they will be camping together for many years to come.
*The patient's name has been changed to protect his privacy.
For More 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 valvular disease, visit Heart Valve Diseases in Adult Health. To learn more about heart valve repair and replacement, read Frequently Asked Questions About Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Repair Surgery.
Find a Heart Valve Surgeon in San Diego
To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego heart valve surgeon or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.