For most of her life, Susan Apker has had cardiovascular issues.
“When I was three years old, I had open heart surgery to repair a ventricular septal defect (VSD),” said Apker. “I had a complete heart block during that surgery and have had pacemakers since, so I am consistently seeing a cardiologist.”
Apker has been seeing Dr. Wayne Leimbach, medical director at Oklahoma Heart Institute, for more than 10 years. “When I first started seeing Dr. Leimbach, I was in the beginning stages of heart failure,” said Apker. “In the spring of 2018, he referred me to Dr. Allen Cheng, director of advanced heart failure and circulatory support, because he determined that it was time to start looking into a valve replacement.”
In August of 2018, Dr. Cheng replaced Apker’s tricuspid valve through a minimally invasive procedure. Due to scoliosis and additional risk factors, a minimally invasive procedure was the safest option.
Post-surgery, Apker is doing well and is impressed with how rapid her recovery has been. “I can thank the minimally invasive surgery and Dr. Cheng for my quick recovery,” said Apker. “My husband underwent coronary artery bypass surgery and his recovery time was much longer. I’m so happy the minimally invasive procedures are available at Oklahoma Heart Institute. It has given me back years of my life.”
Apker was impressed with the overall atmosphere at Oklahoma Heart Institute. “Everyone was caring, attentive and respectful,” said Apker. “Dr. Cheng is a great listener and he was very open, inclusive and attentive throughout my experience. I found that to be true of everyone I came in contact with, from the surgical nurses to the office administrators.”
Apker will continue to see Dr. Leimbach for cardiology care.