Mitral valve replacement in Israel: a patient and his family share the Story of the Successful Mitral Valve Surgery
Open heart surgery on a patient with endocarditis of the mitral valve
As told by Valya, medical curator at iMER:
It is always difficult to see patients that have nearly lost all hope for recovery – it doesn’t matter how old seven or seventy seven. Seventy seven was the exact age of Lev Abramyanz when I met him as one of my duties at iMER I accompanied him throughout the complicated treatment he needed: cardiac surgery to replace his mitral valve, conducted in the Hadassah Medical Center in Israel.
I met Abramyanz family on the day following their arrival. Lev was reclining in his wheelchair and looked extremely exhausted. His wife and daughter were looking forward to the appointment with Professor Lotan – the Chief of Cardiology Department. He was their last hope…
The case was indeed extremely complicated, the patient had difficulty breathing, could hardly talk and his condition did not allow for the endoscopic surgery that iss routinely performed on patients with mitral valve endocarditis. There was the only option left – open heart surgery. Complex valve replacement surgeries are performed in the Hadassah Clinic by cardiothoracic surgeon Professor Oz Shapira.
Lev was admitted to the hospital. Preparation for the surgery took nearly two weeks – cardiologists performed necessary diagnostic tests and administered the preparatory treatment needed for a complex surgical procedure. Two weeks that were filled with doubt and hope! I did my best to assure the patient that everything will work out for the best. On the day of Lev’s surgery, Russian-speaking nurses who had grown to know and love their patient came to wish him good luck. The open heart valve replacement surgery took nearly seven hours.
Three days later Lev’s wife Lyudmila, who could not yet fully grasp that her husband’s life had been saved, was surprised to hear from Professor Shapira “Your husband is allowed and even required to stand up, go for a walk and eat anything he likes. He is a healthy person now”. The family could hardly believe this. They went through eight months of suffering, two surgeries, three weeks in intensive care, exhausting travel from one hospital to another… And here, three days after a very complex open heart surgery, the doctor was telling them that Lev was “healthy”! Just a week later he was discharged into his doctor’s care, and two weeks after that went home.
Today, a month and a half since our first meeting, I saw Lev’s pictures. The vivacious man surrounded by his many relatives did not resemble in any way the desperate, devoid of all hope patient I had seen on that first day… May God bless him and his family with happiness, health and longevity!