High numbers on his cholesterol and blood pressure motivated 49-year-old Bill Davis to eat better and lose 30 lbs. His job keeps him active installing shower doors and troubleshooting when problems occur. Bill also helps out in his wife’s kitchen in their family-style restaurant, Kels, in Bethel, Ohio.
After passing a stress test, Bill felt confident he was on the right track. Then, he woke up one morning and went to work feeling pain in his chest. After several hours, he became short of breath and felt pain down his left arm.
The classic signs of a heart attack couldn’t be ignored, and his wife took him to the local hospital. Doctors in the emergency room determined that he would need to be transferred to a bigger hospital for further study and treatment. Upon arrival at Good Samaritan Hospital, he saw Cardiologist William Martin MD, who explained that he would do an angiogram to check Bill’s arteries for blockages.
Dr. Martin and his colleagues are the only group in the city to routinely access the heart arteries by inserting a catheter through the radial artery in the wrist rather than the femoral artery in the groin. Bill was delighted to learn that he could sit up immediately after the wrist procedure and that his chances of having bruising or bleeding were greatly reduced.
The angiogram revealed a small coronary artery that had closed off and three larger arteries with up to 80 percent blockage. “Dr. Martin gave me the choice of stents or heart surgery to open the blockages,” Bill recalls. Although surgery carries more risk, its benefits tend to be more long-term. “I just wanted to do something once, so I chose heart surgery. I didn’t know about robotics. I thought I was going to have my chest broken open. I was surprised when Dr. [Karen] Gersch came in and said robotic bypass surgery was the best option.
“I felt like I was in the right place at the right time,” Bill states. Triple bypass surgery with just a four-inch incision and three smaller incisions on his left side, and minimal pain following surgery far exceeded his expectations. He also was thrilled to learn he did not have permanent heart muscle damage. “I would recommend this to anyone who needs heart surgery,” he says.
Following surgery, he took off work for three months because of the physical demands of his job, but “I felt like I could have gone back after a month. I’m all healed up, and I have a lot more energy than I did before.”