Houston man's life saved by minimally invasive heart procedure

Steve Denson spent many years in the medical device industry and has been in cardiovascular operating rooms multiple times. When it came time for him to be the patient in the OR, he knew he wanted to find one of the best surgeons. Denson had mild aortic valve stenosis in the past and as it progressed, his cardiologist told him that he needed surgery to replace the aortic valve. Aortic stenosis occurs with there is narrowing of the aortic valve opening – it restricts the blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta. It can also affect pressure in the left atrium.

Denson chose Houston surgeon, Dr. Joseph Lamelas for the procedure. Dr. Lamelas of Baylor College of Medicine is an internationally recognized doctor who does this procedure using a minimally invasive approach. He’s able to do an aortic valve replacement through a two-inch incision between the ribs – it does not involve opening the breast bone. It means a shorter stay in the hospital and quicker return to a normal level of activity. Mr. Denson had his surgery on Wednesday, Aug. 2 and was discharged on Saturday, Aug. 5. He also was able to return to normal activity very quickly.

After the procedure, Denson said, "I feel great. i feel better than i did before actually." He added that the recovery process was positive, "Amazing. It was about -- 6 days post-surgery, I stopped taking all pain medication."

Dr. Lamelas is world-renowned expert in minimally invasive heart surgery and has done more than 14,000 cardiac surgical operations in his career. He’s a pioneer in minimally invasive heart procedures and has even developed facilitating instruments for the procedure.