Dr. Oz: Heart Disease
Dr. Oz shared the story of a surgery he performed on a man named Charles. Charles has battled heart disease for 20 years. Charles said he was never very athletic, but he did do light exercise, like golf and walking. Now, he gets very tired easily. It got a little bit worse at a time. Now, he’s waiting for an operation to fix it.
20 years ago, Charles had bypass surgery to circumvent five blocked coronary arteries. Now, his aortic valve is failing and needs to be replaced.
Dr. Oz: Aortic Valve Surgery
Charles has been married to his wife Marilyn for 30 years. Marilyn does not handle surgery well. It was obvious from the way she handled herself and her reactions to what was happening. Charles said he had faith the doctors would do a good job. Marilyn, on the other hand, was a wreck. She had good reason to be. Her first husband died after major surgery. She got the phone call in the middle of the night. Marilyn said she was going to stand by Charles through this and see him through it. “I will not bury a second husband,” she said.
Dr. Oz explained to Charles and Marilyn that normally, a heart squeezes 70 percent of the blood that comes to it, passing it along to the rest of the body. Charles’s heart was greedy. It was only passing on 15 percent of the blood. The reason for that is because the valve was so tight nothing could get through it. Dr. Oz said he needed to change the valve. But with the prior operation Charles had, it made fixing the valve a little more complicated. Dr. Oz explained to a very nervous Marilyn that this is a surgery he could never guarantee success of, but he could guarantee her that it was his best shot at surviving and thriving.
To make Marilyn even more nervous, she’s a retired nurse. She knows a lot of the things that could go wrong. Between her professional experience and personal experience, that’s a recipe for some extreme anxiety.
Dr. Oz: What is Aortic Stenosis?
Charles’s condition is called Aortic Stenosis. The heart’s job is to pump blood out through the aortic valve. Over time, as we get older or for other reasons, the aortic valve gets calloused and doesn’t open right. This makes the heart work a lot harder and stresses the heart. This can be very dangerous for the body. This can lead to shortness of breath and dizziness.
This is a common problem as people get older. In the operating room, after fixing the aortic valve problem, they let Charles rest in the operating room, letting the heart rest as well. This let them be able to take him off the heart and lung machine. So it sounds like Marilyn can rest easy. Charles was okay after all.