When Jerry Creedon of Frederick, Md., was told that he needed open-heart surgery to repair a faulty heart valve, he said no thanks. Although he urgently needed to treat his condition, called aortic stenosis, the six-to-eight-week recovery after surgery was just too long for him. Creedon devotedly cares for his wife of 64 years, his high school sweetheart, who now has Alzheimer’s disease.
Yet, the highly skilled heart specialists at Adventist HealthCare offered Creedon a different approach with a faster recovery. As a result, in February 2016, Creedon received a minimally invasive heart procedure at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital that replaced his valve without opening his chest.
The transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, got him back to his wife’s side quickly.
Trusting the Expert Team
Dennis Friedman, MD, an interventional cardiologist at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, performed a catheterization procedure that examined Creedon’s valve.
“Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve—the valve between your heart and the aortic blood vessel that delivers oxygenated blood to your body,” Dr. Friedman explains. “If he didn’t take action, the problem would continually worsen and eventually cause fainting, heart failure or even sudden death.”
Having entrusted his heart care to Dr. Friedman after a heart attack 23 years ago, Creedon took the doctor’s advice to visit a heart surgeon at Washington Adventist Hospital.
“With TAVR, a new aortic valve is inserted through a small opening in an artery in the groin, thereby replacing the diseased valve without ever having to open the chest,” Dr. Brill says. “This offers a much quicker and less painful recovery. Previously, the only option for treating aortic stenosis was open-heart surgery.”
Creedon left the hospital just two days later—on his 84th birthday. “I had no physical pain or anything,” Creedon says. “It was a piece of cake.”
Care Continues at Home
With a strong heart, Creedon continues caring for his wife.
“I feel a lot better for having had it done,” Creedon says, “and I know my wife and all my kids are joyful over it.”
Creedon is staying well with Adventist HealthCare’s telehealth program, which connects him to his nurse through electronic devices that monitor and transmit important health information.
He says, “Adventist HealthCare is doing great things with their efforts to improve care at the hospital and after the patient leaves the hospital.”