Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair - The Race of Her Life

The Race of Her Life – Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair  

Young, healthy, and fit, Marni Baum, was racing through life when a routine checkup revealed a severe case of mitral valve prolapse-a condition in which the valve on the heart's left side doesn't close completely, allowing blood to leak backward from the ventricle to the atrium. "It came out of the blue," recalls the thirty-something mother of three. "I was asymptomatic, running eight-minute miles at the time." Ms. Baum was told that she would eventually have to undergo surgery to rebuild the weakened valve.

Rather than wait, she immediately sought out a surgeon who could do a minimally invasive repair, allowing for minor incisions and a speedy recovery. After an extensive search, Ms. Baum selected Dr. Aubrey Galloway at NYU, based on his extensive track record and "easy-going" bedside manner. "He was the obvious choice," she says. The minimally invasive mitral valve repair surgery, which took place in April 2006, was uneventful.

Two weeks later, she was back in the gym, doing light workouts. "You think about heart surgery-it's so overwhelming. But by June, I was running around on the beach with my kids," says Ms. Baum. Less than two years later, she gave birth to her third child, and today she remains symptom free. "I forget that I even had heart surgery," she says.