It started one morning when Mazur noticed his ankles were swollen. He suspected a heart problem and called his primary care office. There, his nurse practitioner detected atrial fibrillation, or AFib, which means irregular heartbeats caused by abnormal electrical signals in the heart. She urged him to make an appointment at Duke Cardiology at Southpoint in nearby Durham.
“He wasn’t doing well,” said Howard A. Rockman, MD, a cardiologist and leader of Mazur’s heart team. “Two of his valves were leaking, and one artery was blocked.”
Dr. Rockman referred Mazur to Duke heart surgeon Donald D. Glower Jr., MD, a pioneer in valve repair. Dr. Glower repaired two valves, removed a blockage, and wired Mazur for a pacemaker.
“The doctors told me it was great that I was in such good shape,” said Mazur. “It helped me recover from the lengthy surgery.”