Team of Physicians Collaborate to Correct Mitral Valve Replacement

How Blake Davis quickly returned to his active life after third heart surgery

Blake Davis developed a heart defect as a child but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his love for active living. Over the course of his lifetime, he has had three mitral valve replacements– the first as a child, the second a decade later when the previous one failed, and the third earlier this year at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.

Now in his sixties, Blake experienced shortness of breath and fatigue and his cardiologist, Dr. Vincent Aquino, interventional cardiologist at CHI St. Luke’s Health – Lakeside Hospital in The Woodlands, determined Blake’s heart was deteriorating.

To avoid disruption of his chest cavity and sternum, Dr. Kenneth Liao, Chief, Section of Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Circulatory Support at Baylor College of Medicine, performed the mitral replacement using a minimally invasive technique by making a smaller incision through Blake’s rib cage. This method not only limited the incision and scarring but improved his recovery time.

“Blake’s case was quite challenging because the formation of scar tissue from the previous procedures made his chest anatomy unclear and limited the surgical entry points,” said Dr. Liao.

Dr. Liao’s minimally invasive technique allowed Blake to recover in just two weeks, compared to the traditional method of opening the chest, which requires a minimum of six-week recovery time. Today, Blake is back living an active life.