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Mitral valve repair expertise leads cyclist to Duke

October 18, 2013

When Simon Griffiths learned he needed mitral valve repair, he chose the surgeon with the most experience.

Heart problems were the last thing that Simon Griffiths expected. After biking some 200 miles for charity, the avid cyclist grew concerned when a short ride left him winded and fatigued. His cardiologist discovered a heart murmur, and further tests revealed a leaky mitral valve. “Had I not been going yearly to see my doctor, I might have chalked it up to just getting out of shape,” Griffiths says.

He began researching his condition and interviewing surgeons, including Duke’s Donald Glower, MD. “I talked to two other surgeons and I was comfortable with them,” he says. “But I kept coming back to the question, ‘Who has done this surgery the most?’ So I went back to see Don Glower.”

Glower is a renowned leader in heart valve repair. Mitral valve repair instead of replacement meant Griffiths could avoid blood thinners or repeat surgeries. And the minimally invasive approach Glower used meant Griffiths could avoid the lengthy recovery associated with an open procedure.

After six weeks of recovery, Griffiths returned to biking. “I’m not as fast as before, but I have more fun,” he says. “I look at the scenery and enjoy the time with friends. I appreciate more.”

In Griffiths’ case and so many others, Duke’s expertise in valve repair and replacement leads to not only a high-quality outcome, but ultimately a higher quality of life.

Learn more about mitral valve disease treatment options at Duke

Mitral valve disease
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