Heart problems weren’t anything new to Carl Herbert, a resident of Australia. In 2000, at age of 35, he was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation. His condition wasn’t serious, so Herbert was asked to check in with a doctor every year to confirm that it wasn’t becoming worse. And for 17 years or so, he checked out just fine- but now, Herbert needed more serious attention.
The heart’s mitral valve lies between left-atrium and left-ventricle. It opens to allow blood returning from the lungs into left ventricle, then closes to keep blood from returning to heart’s upper chamber. Herbert’s valve was actually torn; the result was an increasing amount of blood leaking back into heart. The cardiologist in Australia urged him to postphone his Amalfi Coast Road trip and seek care to repair his leaky valve. Although, he felt fine but didn’t want to put his health at risk, so he canceled the plan.
He booked an appointment with a cardiologist who after closely examining the reports said three words that Herbert did not want to hear “You need surgery”. The heart surgery strikes fear in everyone. This several hours’ surgery leaves few inch scar which remains a permanent reminder that heart has been repaired.
To Herbert, something else was more frightening – the prospect of tedious recovery. “I was not afraid of surgery but I heard that recuperation can be long due to fact that cardiologist will open your ribcage. So, I was ready to spend years to get back into shape and being able to do what I want but deep down inside, I wasn’t ready for this surgery.” For someone as active as Herbert, that possibility was not appealing. So, he started searching for best doctors who provide the best treatment at affordable cost. Meanwhile, Herbert’s brother-in-law recommended him visiting India for treatment and book appointment only with one of the best cardiac surgeons in India.
Mr. Herbert started searching for medical traveler company which can help him in all the formalities. This is when he sent his query to Vaidam, reports were shared with Vaidam team which were shared with hospitals. All the hospitals stated that Herbert may have to undergo surgery but the final decision will be taken once patient came to see a doctor. All the quotations from different hospitals were shared with Herbert. He selected Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi and appointment was fixed for 25th January with Dr. ZS Meharwal.
Armed with all his test results from Perth, Herbert came to see Dr. Meharwal at Fortis Hospital - one of the top 10 cardiac surgery hospitals in India. After studying his case and conducting a final test, Dr. Meharwal shared very welcome news: Herbert was an ideal candidate for minimally invasive surgery to repair his mitral valve. “Those words were music to my ears because that was exactly what I wanted,” recalls Herbert.
The surgery was scheduled for 27th January to repair torn mitral valve, and all went even better than expected. It took about five hours for this and was completed by Dr. Meharwal and his team. Two small incisions were made between the ribs on right side of his chest. Doctor guided his instruments through a small tube here and no cuts to any bones were made. The second incision was in Herbert’s left groin to provide access for connections to the heart-lung machine.
Herbert underwent surgery on Friday, was walking on Saturday and checked-out hospital on Monday noon. “A week to ten days after that I started to feel better than before”. Six weeks after returning back to his home, Herbert was practicing football drills with his son. A friend watching from sidelines concluded that Herbert couldn’t have had heart surgery just a month earlier. “I showed him my scar,” laughs Herbert.
A Bon Voyage
“I couldn’t be happier with care received from Vaidam and Dr. Meharwal and his entire team.” If you want to ask him yourself about his experience, you’ll have to wait a bit as he is off to his most awaited road trip to Amalfi Coast Road.