Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Surgery

The Patient Experience

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-748-2583

We believe that every patient should have access to the best care possible – and that begins with the very first appointment. We work to ensure patients can see Dr. Doolabh as quickly and as easily as possible – often within 72 hours. 

Our minimally invasive heart valve surgery patients are always at the center of the care team. Throughout the process, patients have access to our 24/7 referral line for any questions or concerns. When they call 214-74-VALVE (82583), they can reach a registered nurse at any time of the day to answer any questions and address concerns. 

Learn About the Patient Experience

Getting an appointment with Dr. Doolabh is easy. Your call will be answered by a nurse on Dr. Doolabh’s team who will walk you through the entire process.

Dr. Doolabh’s patients come from all over the country for a consultation or a second opinion and Dr. Doolabh’s nurse is available 24/7 to answer any questions.

“When I came to Texas, I met with Steva and then with Dr. Doolabh, and I knew everything was going to be OK.”

Nick Binkley, aortic valve replacement patient

What Makes Us Different

  • With well over 3,000 of these operations performed at UT Southwestern with excellent results, very few centers have as much experience with this operation as we do.
  • Dr. Neelan Doolabh has performed more of these procedures than any other surgeon in North Texas.
  • Quick ease of appointments – in many cases, we can see a new patient within 72 hours.
  • Dr. Doolabh’s telephone is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a registered nurse on his team. 

What to Expect from Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Before Surgery

We receive referrals in a number of ways. Patients, their families, and/or referring cardiologists can call our referral line at 214-74-VALVE (82583). We then obtain the patient’s medical records, including imaging, such as an echocardiogram and heart catheterization, before the first appointment. At the initial appointment, our care team determines if surgery is indicated; if so, the surgery can be scheduled during right then.

Once a surgery date has been selected, we provide written instructions to the patient, detailing the surgery appointment time and a medication schedule to follow before surgery.

One or two days prior to surgery, patients – along with members of their families and support system – attend a pre-surgery testing appointment where lab tests, X-rays, and EKGs are performed. Patients and their loved ones also attend a personalized teaching session during this time. This session covers what the patients and their loved ones can expect during the hospital stay and allows time to interact with the health care team and to have any questions and concerns addressed.

During Hospitalization

All of our surgeries are performed at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility designed to enhance the experience of our patients and their families.   

Even though we are a teaching institution, surgeries are performed only by Dr. Doolabh and his select operating room team. Patients are in the operating room for around four hours, with the actual surgery taking two and a half hours. Most patients spend one night in the intensive care unit and are then transferred to a private room. Total hospitalization is typically three days. To ensure seamless care throughout the experience, our valve coordinator visits patients and their family during this time. Prior to discharge, all follow-up appointments are made, and detailed at-home care instructions are provided and reviewed with the patient and family.

After Surgery

Once home, patients continue to have access to our 24/7 referral line for any questions or concerns they might have. Most patients are able to drive within seven days (as long as they are not taking pain medication) and are back to work within two to three weeks. To ensure follow-through, we see the patients about a month after surgery. We also encourage patients to take advantage of our cardiac rehabilitation program, which is designed to help patients actively participate in their own healing and recovery by focusing on risk factors, education, and exercise.