Advancement in heart valve replacement improves quality of life

He had 4 open heart surgeries by the time he was 5, now a new procedure has helped him in his adult years

By the time Marc Chatzky reached his fifth birthday, he’d already been through four open heart surgeries to correct a congenital heart defect. But a new procedure is making a difference.

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – When it comes to cardiovascular care, catheter-based technologies and minimally invasive procedures are often replacing traditional open-heart surgeries for those with congenital heart disease.

Experts say this can help people who’ve struggled their entire lives with cardiac problems.

By the time Marc Chatzky reached his fifth birthday, he’d already been through four open heart surgeries to correct a congenital heart defect.

From then through adulthood, Chatzky lived what he calls a “normal” life.

“Until a couple of years ago when I was having pain down my chest,” he said.

Chatzky was experiencing heart failure but didn’t want an invasive surgical intervention.

Dr. Todd Roth and Dr. Larry Latson with Memorial Healthcare’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program conferred on his case.

Chatzky became one of the first to undergo a procedure in the cardiac cath lab utilizing a device called the Harmony Valve which, unlike conventional valves, adjusts to the patient’s anatomy.

“Once we’ve determined that the patient meets criteria that a pulmonary valve is necessary, we go through a series of testing to make sure that the Harmony valve is appropriate for that patient’s anatomy,” Roth said.

It was the case with Chatzky and he said his post-surgical recovery was quick.

He was back to work within two weeks of surgery.

“So it was better than being out for maybe six months and I was back to doing normal things. My bosses are trying to slow me down because I’m working too much,” Chatzky said.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.