Amy’s Wonderfully Serendipitous Patient Success Story
Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Medical Expert: Kevin Accola, MD, Cardiac Surgeon, AdventHealth, Orlando, Florida
Published: March 24, 2023
I could ramble-on about the serendipitous moment we just experienced at The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Conference in San Diego. Instead, I will simply encourage you to click the play button on the video below to see why Amy’s question about small incisions brought a huge smile to the faces of Dr. Kevin Accola and myself.
Amy’s Story Gets Better Thanks to Dr. Accola
Ready for the best part of this story?
Just three days after Dr. Accola and I filmed this video in San Diego… Dr. Accola performed a successful aortic valve replacement on Amy Berger at AdventHealth in Orlando, Florida.
As the cliche goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So, here is a picture of Amy flashing our Community a “Thumbs Up” just three weeks after surgery. Doesn’t Amy look great?
Amy 3 Weeks After Heart Valve Surgery
And… Here is a picture of Amy swimming just five weeks after heart valve surgery.
Amy Swimming 5 Weeks After Heart Surgery
Reflecting on her experience with Dr. Accola… Amy shared, “I am so thankful to Dr. Accola at AdventHealth Orlando and the surgical team who took care of me. I truly believe that my quick recovery has a lot to do with him only making a 4-5 incision mid-sternum incision. I’d highly recommend Dr. Accola to everyone. Not only is he an excellent surgeon, but he is also caring and compassionate. I’m also so thankful to Adam and this website because it’s through this website that I found Dr. Accola.”
Many Thanks to Amy, Dr. Accola and AdventHealth
On behalf of our patient community, many thanks to Amy for sharing her question and her story with our community. And, a special thanks to Dr. Kevin Accola for being such a wonderful supporter of our community and such an incredible care provider for our patients. In addition, we would like to thank the entire AdventHealth team for taking such great care of the patients from HeartValveSurgery.com.
- See 50+ Patient Testimonials for Dr. Kevin Accola
- Learn About Amy Berger’s Heart Surgery Story
- Discover the AdventHealth Heart Valve Microsite
Keep on tickin!
P.S. For the deaf and hard of hearing members of our community, I have provided a written transcript of Dr. Accola’s interview below.
Adam Pick: Hi, everybody. It’s Adam with heartvalvesurgery.com, and we are at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Conference. I’m really happy to be with Dr. Kevin Accola, who’s a leading cardiac surgeon at Advent Health in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Accola, it is great to see you again.
Dr. Accola: Thank you so much, and again, it’s a privilege to be here. We’ve been doing this for so long, and we’re so appreciative of what you’ve done and developed and how that’s helped our patients because it’s really an important source of information for them. At a time when they may be anxious, they can talk to other patients, they can see the different blogs, the different things that you have available, and I really think it makes them feel better. It takes away a lot of their anxiety.
Adam Pick: Thank you so much for the kind words, and to your point, we’re going to answer a patient question from a post that came in earlier today. Dr. Accola, this post comes in from Amy. It’s a special question as you’re going to see when I read it. Amy writes, “Hi, Adam. Hope all is great. I’m having aortic valve replacement with Dr. Kevin Accola on Tuesday.” Today is Saturday, so this is coming right up here.
Dr. Accola: We’ve never had that come up before when it’s this next week.
Adam Pick: Yeah, so she says, “I was told Dr. Accola does the procedure with smaller incisions, about four inches. Is there any data about the benefits of this and having a smaller incision and its impact on the recovery?”
Dr. Accola: Yes, Amy. I think it does impact the recovery because smaller incisions, we don’t open the chest as far, and people usually don’t complain typically of sternal pain because it’s a nice solid bone and it heals nicely. It takes about six to eight weeks just like a broken arm or leg to heal, but once it heals, it’s as strong or stronger than it was before. They don’t complain so much of pain in the front but more so in the back as we open the sternum, so by nature, making a smaller incision, we don’t open the sternum as far, and so yes, there is less pain during recovery I feel. Sometimes we’ll use a partial sternotomy, typically a whole sternotomy, but the shorter, smaller incision really prevents us from opening the sternum as wide therefore having less pain.
Adam Pick: Amy, I hope that helped you. Dr. Accola, on behalf of all the patients at heartvalvesugery.com, patients all over the world, I want to thank you for not only answering Amy’s question but in advance for taking care of her aortic valve, helping her through this process along with obviously her family too, so thanks for everything in advance that you’re going to do to help Amy.
Dr. Accola: Absolutely. Thank you, Adam. It’s good to see you again.