Mark Moye, Heart Valve & Aortic Aneurysm Surgery

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Mark Moye was at Fletcher Allen, being treated for an unrelated condition, when his doctors noticed an alarming decrease in his heart function.  His ejection fraction -- a measurement of the amount of blood leaving the heart when it contracts -- was down to 25 percent, less than half the normal rate.

His cardiologist told him one of his heart valves wasn’t opening properly, a condition known as aortic stenosis. His heart had to work harder to pump blood and was failing from the stress.

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Mark was born with an abnormal aortic valve, but this was the first time it had caused any serious problems.  He was put on a treatment regimen of exercise, diet changes and medication to improve his heart function. Following that, he needed surgery to replace the defective valve.

Frank Ittleman, M.D., Fletcher Allen cardiothoracic surgeon and professor of surgery at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, operated upon Mark, replacing his defective aortic valve with a new tissue valve.

While the surgery went smoothly, Dr. Ittleman found something unexpected: Mark had an abnormality involving his aorta -- a life-threatening bulge called an aneurysm.  This bulge, known as a thoracic aortic aneurysm, was located in the thoracic aorta.

Dr. Ittleman repaired the aneurysm, replacing the weakened section of the aorta with a synthetic tube graft. The graft enabled blood to flow unimpeded through the aorta.

The surgery was a success. Mark was impressed by the professionalism and knowledge of all his caregivers.  "It was a very coordinated team effort. Everyone knew their role," he said. "That put me at ease the entire time."

Today, with the surgery behind him, the 60-year-old Burlington resident stays busy running his own tax preparation business. He also enjoys fishing, golf, gardening and collecting bits of Vermont history.

He continues to be amazed and relieved that Dr. Ittleman found the aneurysm.  "No one knew it was there," Mark said. "If I’d delayed the surgery at all, I don’t know what would’ve happened. I feel very thankful."