A cardiovascular patient’s lifelong goal of being the first to do something came true recently, when a life-changing heart surgery procedure was introduced in northern Colorado.
Wiggins’ Jeffrey Beauprez, who told his doctor he always wanted to be the first person to do something, became the first patient to undergo robot-assisted mitral heart valve repair at Banner Health’s North Colorado Medical Center , according to a press release from Banner.
Beauprez’s surgery was not only groundbreaking for its own purposes, but his surgery guided the cardiothoracic surgery program at Banner Hospital in Greeley to introduce a higher, life-changing standard of care to patients in the area. .
Traditional heart surgeries require a sternum opening and separation of 6 to 8 inches, according to the release. However, robot-assisted mitral valve repair is performed with multiple small incisions of less than 1/3 inch through the insertion of robotic tools controlled by the surgeon at a console.
With this type of minimally invasive surgery, patients can undergo heart surgery with less pain and faster recovery time, according to Banner cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Dwight Slater. Beauprez, for example, returned to work two weeks after his procedure.
Mitral valve repair is a necessary procedure if a person has a leaky valve, which leads to poor blood circulation. Symptoms include irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing when lying down or exercising, swelling, fatigue, and coughing. Left untreated, a leaky valve can lead to heart failure.
But with early intervention, a patient can avoid further heart damage and return to a normal lifestyle with a normal life expectancy, the statement said.
In August, Beauprez reported his leaky valve symptoms to Slater, who had recently joined Banner’s team. He expressed that he did not want to undergo valve repair through open-heart surgery.
At Beauprez’s request, Slater scheduled a time to prepare his colleagues and the operating room team step-by-step for minimally invasive surgery. The team covered assumptions to be fully ready to undertake the first such procedure at Greeley Hospital.
“It wasn’t the first time I had done this type of surgery, but it was the first time this team had done it and we wanted to be prepared,” Slater said.
After successfully completing robot-assisted mitral valve repair, Banner’s cardiovascular team can treat a wider range of heart conditions, according to Slater.