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NEW YORK, N.Y. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Coronary bypass surgery is the most common heart surgery in the United States, with over 200,000 procedures done every year.
The surgery improves blood flow to the heart by bypassing arteries clogged with plaque. Surgeons are performing this procedure in a specialized way and for many patients, that means the heart keeps beating during the entire procedure.
For New York artist Yvelisse Boucher, putting brush to paper last year was cathartic and very personal. Boucher began painting safari-themed pictures after hearing wonderful news from her son and his fiancée that they were expecting.
It also compelled the 61-year-old to make a life-altering decision.
“I have some work to do. I gotta be able to run around and chase this little guy,” said Boucher.
Boucher was facing some serious health issues – she had Type 2 diabetes, a previously undetected stroke left her weak on one side. She had heart disease and learned she needed a triple bypass.
“I was terrified. I was truly, truly terrified,” said Boucher.
Mount Sinai Morningside cardiovascular surgeon, John Puskas, MD recommended a highly-specialized surgery using arteries instead of veins and unlike other bypass procedures, surgeons didn’t stop the heart.
“The no-aortic touch all arterial bypass operation does not use the heart-lung machine at all. Instead of attaching arteries or veins to the aorta, we actually leave them with their own normal inflow,” said Dr. Puskas.
Dr. Puskas removed an artery from Boucher’s wrist to perform the bypass. Surgeons also surgically repositioned two internal arteries to improve blood flow. Dr. Puskas says the arterial graft and off-pump surgery leads to shorter recovery and better outcomes.
Boucher says she kept thinking about meeting her grandson, and that kept her going during recovery.
After recovery, Boucher finally met her grandson, Ezra.
“I did a little peek-a-boo thing with him, and he gave me my first smile and my heart just burst,” she exclaims.
Dr. Puskas says the arterial graft no-touch heart bypass is now the preferred way. He and his Mount Sinai Morningside colleagues performed a coronary bypass.
Studies show there is a two percent stroke risk during traditional coronal bypass surgery. With the arterial graft no-touch technique, surgeons reduce the stroke risk to one-quarter of one percent.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor
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