Burgess Hill grandmother first to have heart operation

A patient has been given a new lease of life after a ground-breaking heart operation.

Thursday, 8th January 2015, 10:09 am
Margaret Mann from Burgess Hill is the first to have a particular heart procedure. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150601-162249001

Margaret Mann, 68, of Potters Lane, Burgess Hill has a new replacement heart valve – implanted in a world first operation at Royal Brompton Hospital.

Margaret, who lives with her husband Peter, had the minimally-invasive procedure to replace a leaking mitral valve, after surgery was deemed inappropriate.

She said she felt that her life was ‘drifting away’, suffering shortness of breath, tiredness and chest pain before the operation.

“I was referred to Royal Brompton Hospital where I was told about the new valve and that I would be the first person in the world to try it,” said Margaret.

“My surgeon, Mr Moat, explained everything to me in detail, so when it came to making a decision I wasn’t actually too anxious.

“I decided to go ahead as I didn’t have much of a life as it was.

“I’m so pleased that I did because now I’m more or less able to run up and down the stairs.

“For the first time ever I’ve been able to have all of the family, including my seven grandchildren, at home for Christmas dinner.

“Before I had the operation I wouldn’t have been well enough to cope with everybody under the same roof, so Christmas was something I was really looking forward to.”

If the problem was left untreated, Margaret’s illness could have lead to heart failure and death.

“I had heart bypass surgery 21 years ago and I also have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, so I think for a long time my symptoms were put down to this.

“When my heart valve problem was eventually diagnosed, I was told by the consultant at my local hospital that surgery wasn’t an option because it was unlikely I’d survive the operation.”

The new valve, called a Tendyne device, was placed into Margaret’s beating heart through a small incision between the ribs – without the need for a bypass.

Since carrying out the world’s first procedure for Margaret, consultant cardiac surgeon Neil Moat, has successfully implanted the Tendyne device in two other patients, aged 75 and 87. Both made a rapid recovery.

Mr Moat said: “We are delighted that Mrs Mann has done so well; continuing to improve and feel better almost two months after her procedure.”

He said the treatment could help to improve patients’ ‘quality of life’ and extend the lives of patients with mitral valve disease.

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