Nov 4, 2013 7:40 PM by Annie Snead
By now, you've probably heard the news on Denver Broncos coach John Fox.
He's recovering from aortic valve replacement surgery.
Dr. Joe Lee at Memorial says this is one of the most common reasons they do open heart surgery on people, and the success rate is very high.
"Usually about 99 to 100 percent are successful," said Dr. Lee.
He says around 100 to 150 aortic valve replacements are done each year at Memorial.
"The way they fix this is they go in and they cut out the narrowed valve and they put in a bio-prosthetic valve which is made sometimes out of a cow or pig heart..sometimes they actually put in a metal valve," he said.
After the operation - hospital stay typically is less than a week.
Most people can return to work in two to three months.
In John Fox's case, symptoms include feeling lightheaded.
The coach was previously scheduled to undergo the procedure in the off season.
Dr. Lee says folks needing a replacement valve do have some leeway.
"Weeks to months as long as they're taking it easy but if they start developing symptoms of light headedness shortness of breath or chest pain, they should have it done sooner than later," he said.
And if you've got a stressful job:
"There's no doubt that high stress can bring on these symptoms a little bit sooner than in the average person," said Lee.
Patients have around five weeks of rehabilitation.
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