Joseph, 92 and Marie Nigro 90, of New Hyde Park, NY are now looking forward to celebrating their 67th wedding anniversary in November thanks for life-saving heart surgery performed at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
The couple who married shortly after the end of World War II have a lot in common with one another, including the same cardiac disorder; a progressive narrowing of the valve between the heart’s left ventricle and the aorta known as aortic stenosis. The condition makes it difficult to get enough oxygen to thrive.
However, despite their advanced ages, doctors felt they could still add as much as ten years to their lives with a minimally invasive procedure that involved replacing their defective valves with new ones from cows.
Pioneered by Dr. Newell Robinson of St. Francis Hospital in Flower Hill, Long Island, the procedure is an adaptation of a technique long used to implant stents in clogged arteries by threading them through a catheter inserted in the groin.
“The who operation takes little more than an hour and provides a new option for older patients who would not normally be candidates for open heart surgery, the traditional method for replacing damaged valves,” stated Dr. S. Jacob Scheinerman, vice president of cardiothoracic surgery at Long Island Jewish..
Joseph underwent the operation in June, and his success inspired his wife to follow suit last month. Both are reportedly doing very well.