Heart

Two Weeks After Heart Surgery, Ben's Back on the Lacrosse Field

Most people can barely watch an intense sporting event within weeks of heart surgery, but Ben Strohm was back on the lacrosse field just two weeks after having a heart tumor removed at the TriHealth Heart Institute.

“TriHealth performs robotic surgery like Ben’s that allows surgeons to treat many heart conditions without opening the chest,” Nancy Dallas, administrator of cardiovascular services at TriHealth, said. “Instead of a big scar down the chest, Ben has five small, tiny incisions on his left side.”

Ben was diagnosed with pulmonary stenosis at 15 days old and continued having ultrasounds every few years to monitor the condition. During his last visit as a teenager, to the shock of his doctors and family, they found a tumor that wasn’t visible on his last echocardiogram.

“If he had not had the pulmonary stenosis, and we had not been doing a regular three-year check-up on him, we would never have found what initially was thought to be a clot, but turned out to be a tumor,” his mother, Gina, recalls.

J. Michael Smith MD, Director of Robotic Surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital, removed Ben’s tumor through robotic-assisted surgery, a minimally invasive procedure that allows surgeons to treat many heart conditions without opening the chest. Generous donations to the American Heart Association fund research that leads to the development of this advanced technology.

Undergoing heart surgery has given Ben a new outlook on life. “I’ve decided that I need to live my life to the extreme . . . As weird as this may sound, I loved having heart surgery. Surgery of this magnitude kind of humbles you in a way, and shows you what matters,” he reflects.

Ben is thankful to be alive, but even more appreciative of his learning experience. “This story that I gained from it – in learning about myself, my friends, my family . . . who I am – that’s the true gift.”

Tags Heart

Last Updated: July 15, 2013