No announcement yet.

Looking for the BEST Surgeon for the job...

  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Looking for the BEST Surgeon for the job...

    Okay...I"m new here and was referred her by a gentleman who posted the link on a WebMd forum. I am coming close to my fourth open heart surgery at the age of 21 due to my mechanical valve finally kicking the bucket. I am looking for the BEST surgeon around for my Aortic Valve Replacement. From the "statistics" the best heart hospital is in Cleveland, but is that where the best surgeon is? I was flown to the University of Alabama in Birmingham back when I was 7 for surgery...the best surgeon at the time performed the surgery. However he has now retired and I am in need of another surgeon. My mother and I will fly ANYWHERE in the US for the best treatment available. Being that this is my fourth time, my cardiologist is nervous and is pushing back the surgery. I am not too happy about his decision because I"m a "Let's get it done and over with" kind of person. I'm not scared, just anxious to get it over with. Who is the best surgeon for Aortic Valve Replacement?

  • #2


    • #3
      I know when I had my AVR a year and a half ago, one of my docs told me that I should have the surgery done where the best of the best are. I was sent to Cleveland Clinic. They told me that Dr. Lars Svensson was the one who was going to do my surgery. I was told he is one of the best if not the best in the world. He specializes in aortic cases. Right before I went in for my surgery, I was very scared, anyone would be. The nursing staff asked who would be doing my surgery and when I told them, they said well then, what are you worried about. Everything will be just fine. They may say that to everyone, but it made me feel a little better. You can go to the Cleveland Clinic website and check out the information on Dr. Svensson or you could just do a search on Google. His credentials are very very impressive. Good Luck with everything and let us know how things progress.

      Take Care!
      God Bless!
      Ascending Aortic Dissection & Anuerysm Repair 9/2002
      AVR 9/2002 (age 34 when diagnosed and had surgery)
      Dr. Svennson (Cleveland Clinic Foundation)
      My DOB is 08/01/1968


      • #4
        Hello Daffodil,

        It's hard to argue about the Cleveland Clinic.

        I sent you some pertinent information on your 'other' hospital in a Private Mail which you can access by going to the bottom of the page, finding the Forum Jump box, scroll UP to the top, and click on Private Mail.



        • #5
          There are several great surgeons for you to choose from. Many here have gone to Cleveland Clinic and it is the highest rated heart hospital in the country. Duke is number 4 I believe, and several people here have had their surgeries done by Dr. Glower and Dr. Jaggers at Duke. I'm about to undergo VSD repair and Ross Procedure by Dr. Jaggers. He is the Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Duke. I believe Mayo Clinic and Brigham and Young hospital round out the top 4. I don't think you can go wrong with any of these places. I'm sure several others will be along with their experiences as well.
          VSD Repair & Ross Procedure 3/17/04 - Dr. James Jaggers
          Bentall Procedure 2/22/11 - Dr. G Chad Hughes
          Both performed at Duke University Medical Center


          • #6
            So young for that many surgeries!

            My heart goes out to you for all you have been through at
            your age. It relatively easy to do aortic surgery the first time on a young person like you, but when you have already had three
            before, it puts you in the high risk area. Make sure the surgeon
            you get handles high risk cases. CCF just lost one of the best in the world (McCarthy) to NW and it has made many people feeling terrible. It will be sometime before he will be up to speed!
            Having gone through 3 different aortic valves myself, could share with the forum what type of aortic valve you have now and what is wrong with it? Also, why did they attempt a repair on top
            of a repair?
            Good luck in your search- don't settle for second best!
            The first child and the fifth patient to survive heart valve replacement surgery. 51 years and counting since my first HVR!


            • #7
              Here We Go! :-)

              Well... Since you were curious about what valve I have and why all that I've been through...
              At this point I have a St. Jude's number 19 prostetic aortic valve. I was actually diagnosed with Aortic Stenosis since birth and I have had the same cardiologist all along. He's wonderful and I couldn't ask for a better doctor. He has quite a reputation in Maryland and even though I'm not "pediatric" anymore he continues to see me. The bond is so tight that we joke I am the reason he no longer has hair!
              My first surgery was performed while I was two to correct a hole that formed in the valve. Then at the age of three they chose to replace the valve as I was going into CHF from the valve growing closed. I'm still a little foggy on the details and I pester my mom constantly in an effort to extract all of the information she has on my medical past. (SO MUCH TO REMEMBER :-/) Then at the age of seven we flew down to the UAB and was operated on by Dr. Pacifico by what is known as the Ross-Kono procedure. Is that right? :-p Gee I feel so confused! I have already exceeded the expentancy of my valve and it is starting to fail. I have had a total of five catherizations and the most recent one was in December. It also showed that my Mitral valve is starting to malfunction. We have also had problems with the Pulminonary, however Dr. Pacifico repaired the problem while he was in when I was seven. No problems there now.
              My doctor consulted with the other physicians at his practice and they opted to hold of the surgery until it was necessary due to the high risk. They didn't want to go in too soon. I personally would rather go in while I'm still "healthy" then when my CHF gets worse. (It appears to be starting already) Blah... Soo much information! Sorry guys! :-)


              • #8
                Daf -

                You may be interested in knowing that Dr. Pacifico is still operating at UAB, along with Dr. Kirklin, son of the founder of the Kirklin Clinic, who is now retired, and a delightful Australian by the name of Dr. McGiffin who I believe specializes in high risk surgeries.

                Did you see my Private Mail message?



                • #9
                  What a story!

                  No need to be sorry, you have been through more than
                  most people on this forum. We are glad you are here!
                  The first child and the fifth patient to survive heart valve replacement surgery. 51 years and counting since my first HVR!


                  • #10

                    Thank you so much. :-) You guys have been so helpful and it's great to meet people who are dealing with the same kind of heart problems. I'll be visiting this site for life. :-) My mom is excited to hear that Dr. Pacifico is still a practicing surgeon at UAB. She always travels with me when I go to have surgery and she loves Alabama. I'm definately going to keep up on this much information! :-D


                    • #11

                      I haven't weighed in on your questions, but certainly want to welcome you to this forum. I wish I had discovered VR a long time ago, but am thankful now. What a blessing.

                      Best wishes to you.
                      [COLOR="blue"]Tom [/COLOR]
                      [COLOR="red"]BicuspidAV. BactEndocard. AorticVR. PlantarFasc. IngHernias. Crohns. [/COLOR] [COLOR="green"]From couch to 26.2 in 53 weeks! Love to "Tri"[/COLOR]
                      [COLOR="purple"]'Tis Grace that taught my heart to fear and Grace my fears relieved.'[/COLOR]


                      • #12
                        Dr. Laks at UCLA is our HERO. He specializes in heart/lung transplants, but he did our daughter's mitral valve repair in 01/04.


                        • #13
                          I responded to your PM and now that I've had the time to read your "story,"I hardly know what to say except, "What a woman!" I really don't feel qualified to make a recommendation specific to your case. I would, however, advise you that there are some very knowledgeable people at and that any comments or suggestions they may make are worthy of your attention. For someone like me who had an AVR w/ mechanical with no complicating features, I think there are many, not only qualified, but exceptional surgeons to choose from across the country. For someone with your particular history, I would invest a good bit of time and effort into ferreting out the best surgeon in the country particular to your case. You're future health and heart function deserves the very best care you can find. I tip my hat to you, Daf and hope you'll stay connected with us here so we can support both you and your mom! My best, Sue


                          • #14

                            Sue...Thanks for the kind words and the advice. I would say my family is pretty fond of Dr. Pacifico, but I have continued my research no doubt. I have been having a ROUGH week and have missed work due to the symtoms of CHF creeping up on me. None the less, this website and forum has been a heaven sent. It's always great to know I'm not alone. :-D


                            • #15
                              Check him out

                              I'm sorry I'm posting this so late, I just saw your thread. Your so young and have been through enough already. I'm 29 and had a valvuloplasty last year and valve repair this year, 7 weeks ago.
                              If you haven't yet made a decision on a surgeon, please give Dr. Mehmet Oz a call at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is the director of cardiothoracic surgery and is one of the BEST. He is world renowned and has even performed OHS on the president of Turkey and Joe Torre's brother (NY Yankees). He has been featured in People, Goodhouskeeping and the Top Docs magazines. Dr. Oz performs over 400 OHS per year with a fantastic record. Please check him out, you won't be disappointed.
                              Best of luck to you in your decision making. Feel free to PM if you need telephone numbers for Dr. Oz.