Sorry I use Kennestone and Wellstar, but went to Cleveland for my surgery. Plenty of people use the ATL hospitals with great success, but none of them score better than 54 where Cleveland and Mayo score 100.
I have a few questions, what was the name of the clinic in Cleveland? How long did you have to stay in Ohio after the procedure and do you have to follow up up there or down in Atlanta somewhere? Thanks
Cleveland Clinic is the hospital. #1 in US for cardiothoracic surgeries. I traveled up ona Sunday as there are 3 days of tests and prep stuff then was operated on Thursday. They would have let me out the following Monday, but they will wait until your INR is 2.0 or above and my body was stubborn and it took until that Thursday night and then some follow ups the next day, I flew back on Sunday, so 14 days. I cut it close as if my INR were not 2.0 on Friday they would have held me and made me do my follow ups on Monday or Tuesday. The place has an amazing staff and the process was great. What was also great was single bill from hospital as everyone works for them so no worries about who is seeing you and if they are in network or not. Total bill was ~$200K then after insurance around ~$50K.
For follow up I use my local cardio and actually found a great cardio Mindy Gentry with Wellstar that was very collaborative with me. My original cardio seemed irritated that I went to Cleveland and got a mechanical valve as he recommended tissue. At the 3 month mark I got a CT and sent those images to Cleveland. Surgeon called for follow up to say everything looked great. Carido did echo at 6 months. Surgeon wants annual CT locally, but cardio says echo. Since I hate all the radiation and have some nodule in my lungs I will do echo every year and maybe CT every few years.
We stayed at a Residence Inn in downtown Cleveland which was a mixed bag, but convenient to stores. There is a new Residence Inn a few blocks form Cleveland Clinic now that opened a few months after I was there. Feel free to PM me and if you want I will send you my phone # to chat. I have a $5K max out of picket for insurance, which I easily hit then the travel, lodging, ubers, etc. maybe came to another $4-5K, but well worth every penny. We flew first class (~$1100 for both of us) which was well worth it when you just had your chest cracked.
I almost did not do it as the thought of having that kind of surgery away from home was spooky, but the the comfort of knowing I had the best hospital in the country for cardiac more than made up for the uneasiness of being away from home. I can;t say enough great things about the staff there. Many people on their staff relocate from all over the country to work there since they are that good.
Wow, thank you for the write-up and all the info. We have family up that way so that might be a plus. I just moved everything from PHX and did not want to travel out there to do it so I looked locally. I'm seeing Dr. Battey seems great and gonna do my 6 month here but prob head that way in Aug for my next 6 month and serious looking into since I'm getting close. Sounds like you did the On-x and happy to her5e your doing well......
I am especially happy with On-X now that I just had issues post colonoscopy and after 8 days am only back to INR of 1.7 which is not the 2-3 I and my cardio want, but it is in the approved range of the On-X with 81mg aspirin. The On-X in theory requires less Coumadin and is less likely to clot since the use smoother surface than say a St. Jude. Of course the On-X study was done with only a few hundred people, which to me is not a proven track record. But until I can get back over 2 I felt OK stopping a Lovenox as I was having some bleed rick and just did not like some of the side effects.