There’s a fairly new surgery called the Wolf Mini-Maze that has a 90% cure rate for Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) and my husband had the procedure done a few days ago in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Community Heart and Vascular Hospital by Dr. Randall Wolf. Here’s a photo of him holding a piece of his heart. Many people have a procedure called Ablation to help with the irregular heartbeat, but typically they have to return every 5 years for another ablation. If you’d like to read about the procedure, here’s a link. What’s really interesting is Randy works for Atricure, the Company that developed the instruments used for the surgery, in conjunction with Dr. Wolf. He makes the prototypes. How cool is that!
Randy’s looking quite happy in this photo because he’s on pain medication…
The hospital has an agreement with a number of local hotels offering patient’s families a discounted rate for their room. I stayed at the Candlewood Suites located just a mile away and loved it. Anyway, after the surgery Dr. Wolf handed me the small container with Randy’s left atrial appendage that’s removed during the surgery and said, “Here’s a piece of his heart”. I took a photo of it in the hotel room and put it on Facebook for friends and family to have a look. I thought it was pretty funny. One of my friends said “Glad he’s doing well, but YUK!” This photo makes it look really big and had another friend worried that they removed so much of his heart.
Here’s the studio hotel room at the Candlewood Suites. I liked being able to make some eggs for breakfast. They have an indoor pool, hot tub and work out facility that I utilized every morning for jogging. They also offered a large selection of DVDs to choose from, free of charge. I watched Akeelah and the Bee, Letters to Juliet and the Ides of March.
We arrived the day before surgery for testing, after a two-hour drive from Cincinnati to Indianapolis. We walked around downtown and had a late lunch/early dinner. I wanted to stroll on their Canal Walk and take some photographs, but Randy was quite nervous and stressed about the surgery, even though Dr. Wolf has performed over 900 of these surgeries without losing one patient, so we just went back to the room, watched one of the movies and got in the hot tub.
The hospital, Community Heart and Vascular Hospital, where they perform this procedure is what I would call a boutique hospital. The decor is beautiful, the staff is professional and friendly and the level of care is superior! I was given a cell phone for one of the nurses to contact me every hour during the surgery to keep me updated. Here’s the lobby…
I loved the ceiling mural…
Randy’s off work for two weeks to recuperate. The surgery is what you would call minimally invasive, so it’s not like typical heart surgery where they make a long incision. There are two 1-2 inch incisions on one side and one small incision on the other side. Hopefully, someone who reads this will decide to have it done, because it greatly improves the quality of life for many!
- Study: Heart procedure effective alternative for treating atrial fibrillation, the leading cause of strokes in the U.S. (medcitynews.com)
- Rachel’s Surgery (missional-greer.com)
- Interactive Kiosk at The Heart Institute Illustrates Alternative Treatments for Atrial Fibrillation (prweb.com)
- Update: Randy Travis reportedly undergoes heart surgery (nashvillegab.com)