My OHSU heart story - by Don
I had acute aortic stenosis. A normal heart valve is about the width of a quarter: Mine was a centimeter. My doctor said I should have open heart surgery, but I wanted to explore other options. A friend of mine had recently had transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), and said great things about it.
I set up an appointment at OHSU to learn more. When I met Dr. Gupta and Dr. Slater, they were encouraging, intelligent, accommodating and forthright. I felt like they were after my best interests. My doctor at home had told me I wasn’t a candidate for TAVR — ironically because I was too healthy! But the team at OHSU said that TAVR would be a good solution, because I already was fairly healthy otherwise. It would be less invasive and I would recover faster.
I talked to friends, family, and other doctors and came to the conclusion that OHSU would be a really good place to have TAVR. My procedure was done on a Friday morning; five hours later, I was able to carefully walk around the intensive care unit. By Monday afternoon, I was on my way home. I had the procedure in March. After a week I was riding my bicycle and taking walks with my wife. About a month later, I was back playing golf and gardening.
The team’s skill and ability worked in my favor: Honestly, it was no more painful than getting a filling at the dentist. Jeff, the TAVR coordinator, the doctors and nurses — they all did a great job. My wife is a retired nurse, and we think the care I got at OHSU couldn’t have been any better, anywhere. I would absolutely recommend OHSU to friends going through something similar.