Here I Come Dr. Vaughn Starnes
After the annual check-up with Dr. Rosin (my cardiologist), it was time to venture back to USC’s Medical Center to see Dr. Vaughn Starnes (my heart surgeon), for part two of my annual check-up.
I have to admit…
The fact that Dr. Rosin was happy with my recent echocardiogram results made the sixty-minute drive to USC rather pleasant for a change. I can remember many, other drives to USC that were drenched in fear, anxiety and doubt due to my much-needed heart valve replacement surgery.
I checked-in with Debbie (at the front desk) and moments later Rosemary led me back to the examination rooms.
“What an amazing life this is,” I thought to myself, “I can not believe it has been two years since my aortic valve replacement operation. After all that I have been though… I am sooooooooooo incredibly thankful for the blessings in my life.”
Dr. Starnes and his team (which included a nurse and a physician’s assistant) entered the examination room. Moments later, positive consensus formed around the functioning of my heart.
As Dr. Starnes listened to my stitched ticker with his stethoscope, he suggested, “The echo looks great and you sound excellent.”
“No limitations, right?” Dr. Starnes queried me.
“I’m back surfing again,” I said proudly, “And, I’m back scuba diving again too. All is going well… I think I’m going to hold-off on skydiving though.”
I did my best to get a smile out of Dr. Starnes. It worked.
We continued on for another few minutes and then the Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery at USC gave me some good coaching and the annual green-light that most patients love to hear.
“Oh yah… Remember to keep taking antibiotics before any trips to the dentist,” Dr. Starnes suggested, “Besides that… I’ll see you next year!”
Another smile appeared on his face.
And with that, Doctor Vaughn Starnes (and team) was off to the next patient. I was in-and-out of his office on San Pablo Street in less than 25 minutes. To learn about Dr. Starnes, click here.
Heart valve replacement surgery is a medical miracle – challenging yes, but still a medical miracle.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.