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Jewell back on his feet quickly after heart surgery

Patient Name: Perry Jewell

When Perry Jewell went to see an orthopedic surgeon about the arthritis in his lower back in February 2008, he got more than he bargained for. While meeting with the surgeon, Jewell learned that he also had a heart murmur.

New option for mitral valve surgery

The Valve Center of the Aspirus Heart & Vascular Institute is the only provider in the area to offer a minimally invasive surgery option to repair a faulty mitral valve, offering many benefits to patients, including:

  • Improved patient outcomes.

  • Potentially a shorter stay in the hospital.

  • Reduced scarring due to a smaller incision.

  • Faster recovery and return to normal activity.

For more information, please call the Valve Center of the Aspirus Heart & Vascular Institute at 877.974.3571.

On the Web

Find out information on the Valve Center at the Aspirus Heart & Vascular Institute. 

“The surgeon asked me, ‘Do you know you have a heart murmur?’ I said, ‘No, I didn’t,’” Jewell said. “I never had to see a heart doctor before because I never had any problems with blood pressure or anything else, but I was becoming tired and winding down at a fairly steady rate.”

Initially, Jewell’s murmur was considered fairly minor, but after undergoing a stress test in February 2010 following a routine strep check, the physician told the 56-year-old Stevens Point resident that it was actually a pretty substantial murmur. Jewell had an echocardiogram (echo), or heart ultrasound, shortly after his stress test, and he underwent additional testing about a week later.

Doctors performed a transesophogial echo and an angiogram to get a better look at Jewell’s heart and the blood flow within his heart. The tests indicated that Jewell’s mitral valve was leaking and required surgery, so he was referred to Aspirus cardiac surgeon John Jonkoski, M.D.

It turned out Jewell was a candidate for minimally-invasive mitral valve repair surgery, which meant Dr. Johnkoski could perform the surgery and fix the mitral valve through a small incision in Jewell’s chest. This was great news to Jewell.

“I wasn’t even aware that this type of thing was available, but when Dr. Johnkoski described it to me, I said ‘That sounds good, because I don’t want to be split open like a Christmas turkey,’” Jewell said.

Jewell underwent minimally invasive mitral valve repair surgery on April 12, 2010 and he was home before supper on April 14. Thanks to the minimally invasive surgery option, Jewell was able to start doing some computer and phone work at home for his job the following week and was back to work in just three weeks.

“I fully expected to be down a minimum of four weeks and I told my boss six to eight weeks, so when I came back in three, he was shocked,” he said. “I was just tickled that the recovery wet as quick as it did.  When doctors first started talking about open-heart surgery, I though I’d have a big scar on my chest and all that other stuff, but all I have is a scar about 4 inches long – that’s it.”

Created: Sep 24, 2010

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