Dr. Eric Lehr
, Heart Surgeon
- Unregistered Surgeon
Patient Recommendations (5)
"Dr. Lehr is a very careful, well prepared, skillful, caring, and very experienced cardiac surgeon. He performed an AVR on me which was my third AVR. He cautioned me that this would be a high risk surgery and coached me to gain weight and get stronger to lower the risk. He was very prepared to handle the possible side effects of my surgery and was very up front about letting me know what could happen.
He was able to minimize my time on the heart lung machine by opening up my chest first and then connecting the machine. He accomplished this by a very systematic procedure of deflating the lungs to drop the heart and lungs away from the rib cage. This was very important since i have ankylosing spondylitis which has compressed my chest. He then opened up the chest skin and pulled up on the wires of the previous surgeries to create a safe space for sawing the sternum using two passes of a triangular bladed saw. At this point he connected the heart lung machine. He removed the 19mm cow valve and all of the scar tissue from the previous two AVR's. This enabled him to install a 23mm On-X mechanical valve. The old valve was leaking so badly that it had a 40mmHg pressure drop across it and the new valve is a normal 7mmHg pressure drop. This enables the blood flow out of my heart to be 571% higher than it was before surgery! This has given me new life.
I was only on the heart lung machine for two and one-half hours which greatly decreased the possibility of damage to other organs. Because of his procedures, I was only 14 hours in the ICU and out of the hospital 5 days later and headed to a rehab treatment facility. My biggest challenge at that point was my ankylosing spondylitis and getting stronger.
I am very grateful to Dr. Lehr and the doctors and staff at Swedish Hospital, Cherry Hill for their skills and care."
Posted by Rodney Schein, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 05/16/2017