Needless to say, our appointment went well yesterday. Dr. Platt is no nonsense, but listens well and has a dry, understated sense of humor. He is the surgeon who deemed Mom's cancer inoperable and who did Dad's heart surgery. We liked him then and we like him now.
The tone of the visit was set when he asked Dad, who was sitting on the examination table, to lift up his legs and lie down. Dad pivoted and swung his legs up and onto the table in perfect form, straight legs, feet together, toes down, just like a gymnast mounting a pommel horse.
"Well, you're certainly fit and in good shape!" noted the Doctor.
He only works out five times a week, we explained.
Several pertinent facts came out during the examination:
- Dad's heart is left-dominant, meaning that the heart itself is supplied by the arteries from the left side of the heart. Fairly rare.
- He has no blockages, the vessels are extremely clean.
- The replacement valve is working perfectly.
- The left ventricle has not diminished in strength since the last surgery. It was weakened then to the same degree that it is weakened now.
- He had moderate mitral regurgitation at the time of the last surgery, graded 2+.
- The leakage is worse now, graded 4+.
- He did not address the mitral valve then because the aortic valve and the aneurysm were more demanding problems. He thought that three procedures would have been to much to address in one surgery.
The most important factor is that Dad wants to procede. He was out of breath after bending over and tying one shoe.
"All I know is that I just can't go on like this!"