42-year-old Daniel has always been a healthy person, with an active lifestyle and good diet.
A heart murmur had been detected a few years earlier, though tests at the time showed there was no immediate cause for concern. However, a routine follow-up scan last year revealed something he never expected.
Daniel was experiencing mitral valve regurgitation, a leaky heart valve that allows blood to flow in both directions instead of just one. Even worse, Daniel’s case was considered severe.
This condition, if left untreated, could result in premature heart failure or blood clots that could break off and lead to a stroke. The answer? Surgery.
“It’s not something you really ever think about. And then all the sudden, you have this news.”Daniel, cardiac patient
The first thing on the Aurora resident’s mind was that this meant open-heart surgery, a large scar and a lengthy recovery. But hearing that there were other options, he was filled with relief.
And they were available to him right in his own backyard.
Although his own cardiologist had initially suggested a surgeon in Kingston, Daniel was pleased to learn that a less-invasive valve repair could be performed by Dr. Carolyn Teng, a cardiac surgeon at Southlake. Being treated closer to home made pre-op and follow up appointments less stressful — and allowed family and friends close by to visit during his hospital stay.
In fact, Dr. Teng is the only cardiac surgeon in the GTA to offer this procedure as part of a full spectrum of treatment options available for mitral valve disease. Because of the expertise of the cardiac team and the advanced equipment available at Southlake, Daniel’s minimally invasive surgery meant a short 4-day hospital stay, a tiny scar and a faster recovery – getting him back to normal much sooner than he could ever have imagined.
“It’s amazing when I think about it,” says Daniel. “And to have it all so close to home was just fantastic.”