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ggkovacik@tmhs.org
 

Media Upate: Barbara Bush discharged from The Methodist Hospital

Houston, TX - 3/13/2009

Former First Lady Barbara Bush was discharged from The Methodist Hospital today, nine days after she underwent aortic valve replacement surgery. Mrs. Bush will be restricted in her activities for at least another three weeks and then can resume her normal activities, according to Dr. Gerald Lawrie, her heart surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center.

“Mrs. Bush was a remarkable patient,” he said. “Her recovery was very quick for this type of procedure. I expect her to be back to normal soon and resume her active life.”

Mrs. Bush left the hospital this morning with her husband, former President George H. W. Bush.

Media Alert: Barbara Bush recovering from surgery at The Methodist Hospital

Houston - 3/4/2009 -

Former First Lady Barbara Bush is recovering from successful heart surgery at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. The aortic valve replacement was scheduled last week after she experienced shortness of breath and physicians detected a hardened valve in her heart. Bush is awake and alert as she recovers in the ICU, with her husband by her bedside.

“I am very impressed with and grateful to the wonderful team of doctors and nurses at The Methodist Hospital who have helped Barbara,” said former President George H. W. Bush. “We have every confidence she is in the best hands.”

Dr. Gerald Lawrie, heart surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, performed the 2 ½ -hour procedure, replacing her aortic valve with a biologic valve. A hardened aortic valve needs to be replaced because, when left untreated, it can result in heart failure or sudden cardiac death.

“The surgery went extremely well and we were able to successfully replace her aortic valve,” Lawrie said. “I expect her to recover fully and soon resume her normal activities.”

The aortic valve is on the left side of the heart. It opens to allow blood to be pumped out of the heart into the body, then closes to prevent blood from flowing back into the heart.

With age, the aortic valve can harden, making it less effective. Symptoms of aortic valve disease include shortness of breath, chest pain or dizziness.

In November, Bush underwent surgery to repair a perforated ulcer. She is fully recovered from the surgery, and the two medical issues are unrelated.

We anticipate she will be discharged in 7 – 10 days.

What is the Aortic Valve?

Aortic Valve
EmmiPrep® Aortic Valve Replacement Program
©2009 Emmi Solutions, LLC

The heart has two pumping chambers. The left side of the heart pumps blood into the body, the right side pumps blood into the lungs. The aortic valve is on the left side of the heart. It opens and allows blood to be pumped out of the heart into the body, then closes to prevent blood from flowing back into the heart.

Aortic Valve Disease

Aortic Valve
EmmiPrep® Aortic Valve Replacement Program
©2009 Emmi Solutions, LLC

With age, the aortic valve can become calcified. Calcification, which is the most common aortic valve disease that requires surgery, hardens the valve and limits its motion, narrowing the opening through which the blood must flow out of the heart.

Symptoms of aortic valve disease include:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • dizziness
  • fatigue

It is important to address disease of the aortic valve, because when it becomes diseased, the heart must work much harder to pump blood into the body. If left untreated, this can result in heart failure. Unlike other heart valves, the diseased aortic valve must usually be replaced rather than repaired.

What is Aortic Valve Replacement?