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Heart surgery in awake patients: the new frontier

Awaken patient during heart surgery: David McCallum and his wife

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​David McCallum, caregiver for wife Annie, had the life-saving, leading-edge TAVI procedure for those too high-risk for open heart surgery.

A leading-edge procedure backed by the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Innovation Committee is a lifesaver for high-risk patients like David McCallum

Last year, David McCallum was far from living life to the fullest.

“I was feeling pretty sick,” says the 88-year-old resident of Scarborough, Ont. “I couldn’t function properly while walking, breathing; there was pain, everything.”

A visit to the doctor and an angiogram revealed that Mr. McCallum suffered from severe aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart), which was the cause of his debilitating symptoms. Mr. McCallum’s condition would require intervention, not only to improve his quality of life, but also to prevent degeneration of his heart muscle that could become life-threatening.

“It affected me all the way round,” he says.