My story began with shortness of breath on exertion in July of 2017. During the next 11 months it took my PCP, 2 Pulmonologists, 1 Pulmonary Hypertension Specialist at Mayo Clinic, 2 cardiologists and 2 cardiothoracic surgeons to decide what was wrong with me and what needed to be done. What a long, strange trip it was! They all agreed there was a mass on my aortic valve. Whatever it was, it was rare, but none were sure what the mass was exactly. Even heading into the operating room they were not sure....it was either a papillary fibroelastoma or Libman Sacks Endocarditis.
Surgical plan was to do minimally invasive and, if possible, to remove the mass and repair the valve. If repair was not possible, then they would replace the valve with a On-X mechanical valve.
When I woke up I found out that I had a mini sternotomy with tumor removal and aortic valve repair. The path report confirmed it was papillary fibroelastoma (a benign tumor). My surgery was done by Dr. Alan Wolfe at Northeast Georgia Medical Center's Ronnie Green Heart Center. I chose him due to his experience and expertise with valve surgery and specifically minimally invasive valve surgery.
I was out of ICU within 24 hours of surgery and into a step down cardiac wing. On Day 3 post surgery I was discharged home.