a Fit and Active Man - who needed
Exercise-loving John Curtis, a 57-year-old company director from Chiswick, is the last person you would expect to have a potentially serious heart condition. However, not long ago he was admitted to the Robert & Lisa Sainsbury Wing at Hammersmith Hospital for heart surgery.
John explains how his treatment and subsequent care with Dr Nijjer got him back to fighting fit.
Chest tightness on running can be the First sign of Heart Disease
“I have always been active, running, swimming, cycling, pushing weights and horse-riding. it was during a run last December that I felt an odd tightening, in my chest. I saw my GP at my wife’s insistence and was sent to a rapid-access chest pain clinic to investigate my symptoms due to my family history. Both my father and grandfather had serious heart conditions.
At the clinic, an ECG (electrocardiogram) test showed that my heart was not working normally. I was referred to Dr Sukhjinder Nijjer, a Consultant Cardiologist, at Hammersmith Hospital for more tests.
Coronary Angiography is the Gold Standard test to assess Heart arteries
“Dr Nijjer carried out a coronary angiogram, an x-ray test to show whether your arteries supplying blood to the heart are blocked or narrowed.
While looking at the images, he told me I would need coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) because one of my arteries was so blocked I was at risk of a heart attack. I had no idea I had such a serious heart condition. Fortunately, Dr Nijjer explained my scans and treatment to my wife and I in a thorough and professional manner.
He referred us on to Mr Jonathan Anderson as ‘a man I would trust with my own life’. We left feeling in good hands.”
Rapid treatment can Be essential
“My care plan was rapidly put into action. It was a huge relief to have treatment so soon after diagnosis.
I saw Mr Jonathan Anderson, a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, the next day. Two days later I was admitted to the Robert & Lisa Sainsbury Wing for my heart bypass operation which Mr Anderson performed the following morning. The CABG procedure lasted about four hours and involved taking a spare blood vessel from within the chest and one from my leg and attaching it to the heart, below the blockage, to enable healthy blood flow to the heart.
It is major open surgery so I was in the hospital for six days including three in days intensive care.The standard of care I had, as an inpatient, was extremely high. The nursing staff, doctors and surgeons all had an exceptional bedside manner and listened carefully to how I was feeling. The diagnostic tests, equipment, operation, the cleanliness throughout everything was excellent.”
Cardiac care Extends beyond the Operation
“I was discharged on Christmas morning in time to sit at the head of the table with my family. Once home I wanted to return to normal but I had just had major surgery I was exhausted, my muscles had wasted and I’d lost weight. I was told to take things slowly, so I started going on walks, riding a spin bike and gradually incorporating short runs.
Even though I was a very fit heart patient. I was referred to Imperial Private Healthcare’s rehabilitation service at Charing Cross Hospital for exercise classes. I had my heart tested at constant workload at the start and end of the rehab period. My heart rate decreased by 30 beats per minute for the same work over nine weeks – a new view for me of the heart recovers from surgery.”
Getting back to Normal after Cardiac Surgery
“The access to the clinicians during my recovery was excellent. I have seen Dr Nijjer and have and follow-up ECG and echocardiogram (ultrasound heart scan) which show my heart was returning it its normal shape.
Now I am largely back to my previous fitness levels. As well as my genetic history, I think stress may have played a part in my condition. I intend to approach work with a little less intensity and enjoy life’s moments a little more.
I am very grateful for the care I received by Dr Nijjer, to avert a potentially more serious heart condition and return to the things I enjoy doing. I was told at each step who the best people to see were. I knew I was in the best hands with Dr Nijjer.”
See John's story, in video format: click to play
5 Star Rated on Doctify
Throughout my consultation with Dr Nijjer he always made sure that I fully understood each step of the process, which gave me great confidence that my health and wellbeing were in good hands.
I could not more highly recommend my consultation with him or the outputs from the consultation which really does put the patient at the very heart of everything.
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