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Scott Stanley Find out more about Scott Stanley
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  • East Carolina University

    Sorry its been awhile since I have responded lately, but life has been really hectic for me in KC. Besides the multiple TEE's and cardioversions over the last few months and than being let down by not being able to goto Mayo for my ablation because of a clot. I finally have a bright out look. I am going to East Carolina university in Greenville to have the Maze procedure done this month. Has anybody heard of Dr. Chitwood.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays

    Scott
    Scott Stanley


    Heart Transplant June 14th 2005

  • #2
    Re: East Carolina University

    Sorry about this Scott, -

    But I hear tell that Dr. Chitwood is a-Maze-ing.

    It’s nice to see you back on the boards again, but I wonder what is hoped to be accomplished with the Maze study, and why the ablation rather then a myectomy? There may be excellent reasons for both, but I can’t guess what those reasons may be.

    Also, if you applied to go to the Mayo and your insurance company turned you down, (generally standard procedure with all out of plan requests), why not get a letter from your cardiologist stating that you should go there, and appeal the decision. You can you know. It is then reviewed by a supposedly ‘impartial’ board, and if that is denied you can push it further – in the refusal they have to detail the options open to you. The real key is getting the cardiologist to either request that you be seen at the Mayo – or you can demand a second opinion, and request the Mayo as the leader in the field.

    Remember to the insurance company you are an expense, to be avoided if possible, but to you it involves your health and well being. Between my wife and me, we have a long list of ailments and have fought, and are fighting, for our needs with our insurance company. We even pioneered the opening of coverage for a new clinic in a hospital that others have followed us into – for the benefit of all.

    Stick to your guns, it IS worth the effort.
    Burt

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: East Carolina University

      HI Scott,
      No I do not know this doctor. I would make sure to ask a few questions prior to going ahead with this.
      Question #1 How many MAZE procedures has he done on people with HCM?
      Question #2 Over what period of time were these procedures done?
      Question #3 Of those done, how many pts were relieved of AF?

      Let us know the answers!
      Take care,
      Lisa
      Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
      YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

      Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
      lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
      Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
      Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
      Currently not obstructed
      Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: East Carolina University

        Burt---
        To answer your questions, the reason I didn't go to the Mayo Clinic previously was due to a blood clot, not insurance. I am non-obstructive so a mysectomy is not an option. The Maza procedure is the last option for us non-obstructives before a heart transplant. Our goal is to help the afib problems to allow me to have a somewhat "normal" life.

        The reason we chose Dr. Chitwood is because he is world known for his robotic heart surgeries. His speciality is mitro valve replacement, but he has been doing the Maze procedure for a number of years and was trained by the developer of the Maze. He currently is training other doctor from around the world on his procedures using a robot instead open heart surgery. There is a lot of information on him via the internet, Dr. Randolph Chitwood.

        Scott
        Scott Stanley


        Heart Transplant June 14th 2005

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: East Carolina University

          Scott-

          I followed some of the links found with a Google search on Dr. Randolph Chitwood. I guess he is rather well known in the world of cardiac surgeons.

          One article
          I found especially interesting discussed how he was one of three candidates that Brigham & Women’s Hospital here in Boston tried to recruit to head up their cardiology department. Like the Red Sox and Alex Rodriguez, they were looking for a big name, but in the end couldn’t afford him. Difference- the baseball player is now earning $22 million per year and the heart surgeon, not even $1 million.

          Back to heart health - My case bears a resemblance to your own. Non-obstructive HCM, a lasting case of AFib, multiple TEE’s showing atrial blood clot, and a hospitalization for congestive heart failure. I am feeling well – maybe winded sooner than I should be during exertion – but otherwise tolerating my only other symptom – Atrial Fibrilation.

          I wasn’t really familiar with the Maze procedure until I read some of this information on Dr. Chitwood. Sounds like a pretty radical proceedure, but also seems to boast a very high success rate. I’d like to hear more.

          Side note: My most recent TEE was a week ago Monday. The person performing this procedure has done all three of mine. It sounded to me like she was going to announce that the clot was still there, but had a Dr. take a look. His opinion changed her mind. He described the dark area of the echo as “smoke”. Blood was indeed pooling in the appendage but was not in fact a clot. My PT for the past month had been < 2.5.
          • 1995: Brigham & Women’s Hospital - diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation
          • 2004: Falkner Hospital – diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure
          • 2004: Tufts NEMC– diagnosed with “End Stage” Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
          • 2005: Genetic Test – Laboratory for Molecular Medicine. HCM confirmed – missense mutation detected in TNNT2 gene
          • 2009: Brigham & Women’s - Third cardioversion begin Amiodarone for AFib
          • 2011: Brigham & Women’s - Medtronic ICD implant

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: East Carolina University

            Hey Scott-
            I was just flipping through the channels on TV and found an old (2001) Discovery Channel Special on the Digital Pay Per View Service. It was actually a freebee simply called Robotic Surgery.

            The show features three different Drs. each doing a different procedure. The first segment shows Dr Randolph Chitwood of Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, North Carolina using the da Vinci robot to replace a mitral valve on a 47 year old patient.

            It was amazing to watch. Since access to the heart for the robot is through several small incisions between the ribs the patient recovers quickly. They showed the guy back on the job performing light lifting just 7 days after the operation.

            The second segment showed a kidney transplant. The final episode showed a Canadian Surgeon doing a coronary artery bypass on a beating heart – no heart/lung machine. Apparently this is not permitted in the US.

            Wow! Some technology!

            Keep us posted on your upcoming Maze procedure.
            • 1995: Brigham & Women’s Hospital - diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation
            • 2004: Falkner Hospital – diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure
            • 2004: Tufts NEMC– diagnosed with “End Stage” Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
            • 2005: Genetic Test – Laboratory for Molecular Medicine. HCM confirmed – missense mutation detected in TNNT2 gene
            • 2009: Brigham & Women’s - Third cardioversion begin Amiodarone for AFib
            • 2011: Brigham & Women’s - Medtronic ICD implant

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: East Carolina University

              Boz, It is permitted in the US and is becoming a more common procedure. However, it's another level or aspect of training. It's not done everywhere because not all places have the staff trained or the proper equipment. I would also think that not every patient would be suitable for the procedure, depending on what their circumstances are. Linda

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: East Carolina University

                Their website is http://www.chitwoodgroup.com/

                "On July 11, Chitwood received the Harken Award, presented by Mended Hearts, a national nonprofit organization affiliated with the American Heart Association, that offers support and services to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers. He was presented the award during the group’s annual conference in Cleveland."

                “Dr. Chitwood is an academic and clinical superstar, and his work has influenced the lives of countless people. Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to honor Dr. Chitwood for his pioneering and innovative work,”

                East Carolina University

                It sure does sound like he is a very well known; that's always a good thing. All the press I've been able to find on him is positive, another good thing. I wish you the best Scott and I'm sure all will go well for you.
                I cannot fear death, because when dead, death does not exist. Love is the reason for being, it can never be taken away nor lost, so hold on I will, and in death I will not part, but rejoice for the time I’ve had with you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Chitwood is A-Mazing

                  Hi all from cold Kansas, I got a real great Christmas present this year no more afib, thanks to Dr. Chitwood, his amazing staff and his robotic surgery. He performed my surgery on Friday, the 17th and I returned home on Christmas Day. His Maze procedure is very defined and includes the basic Cox Maze procedure, plus modifications that he has refined to come-up with a success rate of 80% plus. He believes that I have a 90% chance of staying in regular rhythm.

                  Dr. Chitwood knows HCM and has worked with many HCM patients with valve replacement/repair and Maze procedures. He is now seeing patients that have had the traditional (open heart and catheter) in the past and is correcting their afib.

                  I would suggest Dr. Chitwood and his robot, as an option to anyone that is needing this type of procedures.

                  Scott
                  Scott Stanley


                  Heart Transplant June 14th 2005

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Scott,
                    It sounds like you received a wonderful Christmas gift this year! Congratulations!

                    I am looking for anything published from this doctor on this procedure, I did not find anything - Are you aware of anything that he has published on his work?

                    Any information you can provide would be appreciated.

                    Best wishes,
                    Lisa
                    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                    Currently not obstructed
                    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Lisa,

                      I found these three references while searching Ebsco Host for peer-reviewed journal articles. I'm sure he's written much more on the topic, but these are the first three that popped up. They're not in proper APA bibliographic format... sorry about that.

                      Introduction: Robotic surgery today and tomorrow. By: Chitwood, W.Randolph; Krummel, Thomas M.. American Journal of Surgery, Oct2004, Vol. 188 Issue 4, p1, 1p

                      Building a surgical robotics program. By: Nifong, L. Wiley; Chitwood, W. Randolph. American Journal of Surgery, Oct2004, Vol. 188 Issue 4, p16, 3p

                      Robotic mitral valve surgery. By: Kypson, Alan P.; Chitwood, W. Randolph. American Journal of Surgery, Oct2004, Vol. 188 Issue 4, p83, 6p

                      Jim
                      "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jim,

                        You are always so good a research! (now that I look I think I was spelling the name wrong )

                        Thank you!
                        Lisa
                        Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                        YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                        Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                        lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                        Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                        Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                        Currently not obstructed
                        Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I assume the Cox Maze procedure is not done on a beating heart – better put, I suppose the heart / lung by-pass machine was required for your operation.

                          Home seven days later? It really is a miracle.

                          Though the episode on Discovery didn’t show the same exact operation, it was similar in some respects. I don’t remember the exact comparisons, but the show pointed out how this particular patient was back at work in seven days where as a patient opting for the same procedure with “traditional” surgery wouldn’t be out of the hospital for at least a month and wouldn’t be back to work for perhaps as long as six months.

                          Congratulations – you are a pioneer!
                          • 1995: Brigham & Women’s Hospital - diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation
                          • 2004: Falkner Hospital – diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure
                          • 2004: Tufts NEMC– diagnosed with “End Stage” Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
                          • 2005: Genetic Test – Laboratory for Molecular Medicine. HCM confirmed – missense mutation detected in TNNT2 gene
                          • 2009: Brigham & Women’s - Third cardioversion begin Amiodarone for AFib
                          • 2011: Brigham & Women’s - Medtronic ICD implant

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey Scott

                            I've been reading some of your post with interest, as your the closest person I could find to me here in Ottawa. Down I-35 a bit from you. I'm glad everything is working out for you, and wish you a full and fast recovery.

                            My Dr. here at home is Dr. Kevin Mulhern at K.U. Med. Who is your Dr. and where are they located?

                            Be Safe,

                            Troy
                            Every new beginning, comes from some other new beginnings end.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Scott, I'm glad that everything has been working pretty well for you. Feel better soon!

                              Reenie
                              Reenie

                              ****************
                              Husband has HCM.
                              3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                              Comment

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