Phil Damiani – Aortic valve stenosis and replacement

Phil Damiani:
I had…as a child, I remember my mother saying that I had a heart murmur. I, growing up, I didn’t know
what that meant. I had no idea
what a heart murmur was, but it didn’t stop me
from playing high school sports and being active. I think I’m doing
pretty good for 64. I keep very active. I’m involved in
an awful lot of things. I was playing tennis, and I noticed I was getting
a little short of breath more so than I thought, and I went in
and we did some tests, and that’s when my cardiologist
took a look and they determined that I had
the aortic stenosis condition. My cardiologist
is in the same building as my primary care physician and I’ve been with my
primary care Penn physician for over 30 years. I come in, I park.
It’s fantastic. It’s five minutes from my house. The convenience of having
my Penn cardiologist in Media allowed me to really discuss
what was happening and then to be able
to make the next steps which was going downtown
to Penn. The stenosis was at the point
where it could present problems. A very good friend of mine
who is a medical examiner told me that many times
they find this on autopsies, and I was very fortunate that the people who were
working with me at Penn decided that there was
no time to be lost and we really
should address this and replace the valve. I felt like I was
in tremendous hands. The surgery went very well,
and the recovery was excellent. In the first week,
it was amazing how much better
I felt day-to-day. That was what was
kind of remarkable to me. And so the combination, I think, of being able to take advantage of resources in Media and also Penn resources
in the city worked out very well. When I met my surgeon,
I asked him one question. It was, “How long will it be
’til I’m playing tennis again?” And he said three months. In three months,
I was on a tennis court hitting some tennis balls. The guys I’ve been
playing tennis with for over 30 years, are our crew. We kid each other;
we razz each other. We’ll play competitive tennis;
we’ll play cutthroat tennis, but when we’re done,
we’re kidding, we’re relaxing,
we’re enjoying ourselves. I felt very good
about Penn Medicine, and they were
on the cutting edge. They’re not ranked number one
for nothing. I think it’s really important
to not to settle for something that’s second best
or something that is mediocre. I think I’d be selling
myself short or anyone would if you didn’t try
to get the best care, and that’s the reason
that I wanted to work with Penn. It’s your life. It’s your health,
and you owe it to yourself. You owe it to your family
and the people you work with to try to get
the best healthcare you can, and Penn’s it. As long as
I’m taking care of my health and doing what I need to do, I’ve got them there
to take care of me long term. I know my life is worth
Penn Medicine. Isn’t yours?

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