Dr. Oz: Aortic Valve Surgery
Dr. Oz showed what happened when he helped 81-year-old Joe with heart surgery in a pretaped segment. Joe was active and in good shape, but he need an aortic valve replaced. Without surgery, his heart wouldn’t be able to pump the way it was supposed to.
Dr. Oz: What is Aortic Stenosis?
Joe explained that he does a lot of work in his yard. His wife, Seslye, said he chops down trees and moves stones. She said she thought it was outrageous that he was doing all this work when he knew he needed a new aortic valve.
Every time Joe’s heart beats, the blood has to press through a valve that’s stuck. This is called aortic stenosis. If they replaced his aortic valve, it would be good for at least 20 years.
Joe and Seslye just got married the previous year, even though Joe is 81 and Seslye is 71. They both said they loved each other dearly and Seslye was very worried about the heart surgery. She said it was really scary.
Dr. Oz: Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery
Joe said that he was very comfortable because he was a fire engineer in the Air Force. In that job, you couldn’t get excited under stress. So Joe was really calm before surgery. Dr. Oz told Seslye that he was going to do everything to make sure Joe comes out okay.
Shortly before surgery, Dr. Oz explained that he knew he could replace the valve okay, but the big question was whether Joe’s body could take the valve okay at his age.
To do this surgery properly, you need to clamp down on the heart to keep the blood out. Otherwise the heart swells up and the patient starts to bleed. This happened during Joe’s surgery because the clamp slipped. However, they were able to bring the bleeding down and put the aortic valve in.
Dr. Oz: Recovering From Surgery
Ultimately, Joe’s surgery was a success, despite a little difficulty. Four months after surgery, Joe was doing just fine. He was back to digging holes to put posts in for a fence.
Joe was worried about getting his heart strong. Dr. Oz said that Joe’s heart was very strong even before the surgery because it was able to push past the valve that hadn’t been working. Dr. Oz compared it to an arm lifting a very heavy weight. Once the weight is removed, the arm has the added strength from the effort, with no resistance anymore. That’s what happened to Joe’s heart.
Dr. Oz said he believed love helped heal Joe, because his new wife Seslye was by his side the whole time.