Memorial Healthwatch Winter/Spring 2009
Leading-Edge Cardiac Surgery – Enhancing Quality of Life for Patients
Sophisticated Treatment for a Severe Heart Defect
Meri and Joe learned their baby had a severe defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) during a routine ultrasound two months before she was born. "I was scared. It sounded like a death sentence," Meri says.
They were referred to Frank G. Scholl, MD, FACS, FACC, Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, who performs the highly successful hybrid surgical procedure for HLHS. Meri and Joe were reassured by Dr. Scholl's confidence.
"Dr. Scholl explained the three-part procedure step by step, and I felt hope for the first time," says Meri. One week after Samantha was born, Dr. Scholl performed the first procedure, and at 4 months old, the second. "We don't know when the third procedure will be. Her body will tell us," says Meri.
Today, Samantha's heart defect is not apparent. The happy baby her mother calls "half-tomboy, half-princess" has no trouble keeping up with her three older brothers.
The sophisticated treatment of complicated heart defects is possible only with a multidisciplinary team of specialists who work together closely, says Dr. Scholl. He stresses the importance of doing what is right for each patient.
"You need to have in-depth discussion about all treatment options," he says.
To find a Memorial physician who is committed to patient- and family-centered care, call Memorial Physician Referral Service toll-free at (800) 944-DOCS. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.