Video: Using Patient-Centric Care to Improve Surgical Outcomes with Dr. Davtyan
As we have previously discussed, the heart valve surgery process — from diagnosis to recovery — can be isolating for patients.
Often times, patients say to me, “Adam – I felt like a number, not a person, during this process.” Patients have also shared that the medical system is too overwhelming to deal with. As a result, patients can become frustrated during an already stressful time in their lives.
Needless to say… This is not good for patients, their families and friends.
It is for these reasons that I perked up during a recent discussion with Dr. Hakob Davtyan, a leading cardiac surgeon who has performed over 2,000 heart valve procedures. During our chat, Dr. Davtyan shared a unique approach to patient care in which he strives to create a personal connection with each patient — as if the patient was a member of Dr. Davtyan’s own family.
To illustrate how this approach is helping patients achieve excellent surgical results, I created this video.
I want to thank Dr. Davtyan for his thoughtful approach to cardiac care and his successful treatment of many patients in our community — including Dorothy Derreera and Charlene Watson. 🙂
Video Transcript Of My Interview With Dr. Hakob Davtyan
For the hearing impaired members of our community, I have provided a written transcript of this video interview below.
Dr. Hakob Davtyan says: I’m a cardiothoracic surgeon working at St. Bernardine Medical Center since 1994. I’ve been practicing cardiac surgery since 1989 when I started my training at Emory University, so it’s 25 years of experience. I’ve done close to 7,000 open heart procedures. I probably have done 2,000 valve-related procedures in my career.
The decision to become a heart surgeon actually was very early for me. I was about 11 years old. I can even tell you the date. It was December 2, 1967 where the first heart transplant was performed by Christian Barnard. My grandma was an OR nurse at the time. When she heard about this she actually told me, “Listen, listen, they replaced somebody’s heart.” I thought to myself, how interesting. So that was the beginning of my desire to go into heart surgery and I accomplished my dream. I’m a heart surgeon.
Cardiac surgery is a very precise science; how to perform it better, how to improve it. Now we are at the point that these operations are fairly standardized, but they still remain very complicated endeavors. The patients are becoming older yet the results are outstanding. We advise the patients that with current techniques and current knowledge the risk of dying is less than 1%. Our team prides itself in achieving these results with attention to detail, attention to patient care, shepherding them through this very complicated process.
We have four excellent cardiac surgeons and we have four excellent physician assistants. It’s the team work that makes these complex procedures possible. Our group performs between 700 and 1000 open heart procedures every year which makes us the busiest private practice cardiac surgery group in southern California.
The recovery of heart valve surgery can be a difficult time for the patient. Aortic replacement procedures, usually they stay in the hospital on average about four or five days. If we do minimally invasive aortic valves, sometimes they go home in three days. The joy to see a very sick patient leaving the hospital able to walk and to return to the family and to enjoy life.
I approach every single patient as if he is part of my family. How would I like to treat my own relatives? What kind of attention and care I would like to direct to them for them to feel comfortable and confident that the person they are talking to, and the person who is going to open their chest and work on their heart is well-trained, conscientious and appreciates the opportunity to take care of the patients.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.