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Heart Disease Forum
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Avatar universal

Hospitals/Surgeons


  What are THE questions to ask to determine the mortality/morbidity factors for the hospital and/or doctors in our area and from where is this info obtained?  I have had one aortic valve replaced 10+ years ago (homograft) and will soon have to have a second surgery.  The first was done at Sentara Norfolk General in Norfolk, VA by Dr. Hormoz Azar with extremely good results, however, we no longer reside in Norfolk. We now live in the Ocala, FL area.
  Any information will be most appreciated.
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Avatar universal
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Dear Frances,
Firstly, you should limit your search to those hospitals where there is significant experience in a second time open heart valvular surgery as it is a given that the second time around is much more involved than the first.  Your cardiologist should have an opinion for you, otherwise look only at major Heart Centers like the Cleveland Clinic (our surgeons are not only experienced in redo operations but are very experienced in valve repairs and replacements.) You can call the hospitals that are known for valve surgery to get their statistics.  For instance last year the Cleveland Clinic did close to 5,000 open heart surgeries and the morbidity/mortality data was lower than the national average of 4% (mind you, many of those 5,000 surgeries were redos and valves as well as surgeries done on very sick patients, which as you can imagine are high risk surgeries.)  
If your cardiologist is unsure of the few centers that have experience as such, you can always go to the local medical library and ask the librarian to point you to the appropriate journal (Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery) for instance that has references as such.
I hope this information is useful. Information provided in the heart forum is for
general purposes only.  Only your physician can provided specific diagnoses and therapies.
Feel free to write back with further questions. Good luck!
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please
call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at
www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the
cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your
cardiac problem.






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