Heart

No surprises along the way

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Roger Scott needed a heart valve replacement. He probably would have put it off if he didn't need a hip replacement so he could keep up with the activities that he loves.

At 80, Roger Scott is technically retired, but he’s never stopped working. 

An active volunteer for a wide range of organizations, a devoted father and grandfather, and a devout Chicago Cubs fan, Scott decided to pursue a hip replacement at UT Southwestern so he could keep up with the activities he loves. But as he began the evaluation process for hip surgery, he learned that something else needed to happen first.

“I needed a heart valve replacement,” Scott says. “And I probably would have put it off if I didn’t need the hip replacement; I’m really glad I went ahead with it.”

Scott saw UT Southwestern interventional cardiologist Sarah Gualano, M.D., who determined that he was a good candidate for a minimally invasive procedure known as a TAVR, which would replace his failing heart valve without exposing Scott to the risks of a traditional operation. His surgery was done on a Wednesday, and by that Saturday he was home.

“No one is likely to say that they enjoyed having heart surgery,” Scott says, “but my experience at UT Southwestern was so positive because of the way I was treated.”

Before his TAVR procedure, the last time the octogenarian had stayed overnight in a hospital was when he had his appendix removed at age 10. “I had no baseline for what to expect,” he says. “And I was thoroughly pleased with everything, from checking in to the care I got from the doctors and the nurses. I can’t speak highly enough about my experience.”

In particular, Scott appreciated that there were no surprises along the way. “Dr. Gualano set up a team meeting before my surgery, and I was able to bring two of my children with me, so everyone’s questions got answered. My doctors were very open to discussion.” 

It wasn’t long after Scott’s TAVR procedure that he was back to pursuing all of his usual interests and labors of love. Now his only real concern is that he might miss the Cubs training season in Arizona this year. “But there’s always next year,” he says. “As a Cubs fan, that’s something we know – there’s always next year.”

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