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Heart Surgery Success for Bride to be

Date: 14 August 2013 04:26

A bride-to-be who discovered her own heart tumour less than three weeks before her wedding day, walked down the aisle on Saturday, after surgeons at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust successfully carried out a pioneering keyhole heart operation.

Amy Sherwood, who works as an echocardiographer in North Wales, was undertaking some routine echo scan training with a colleague, when she was shocked to discover that her own scan revealed a tumour in her heart.

“Although I’ve been carrying out echocardiograms on patients for a number of years, never in my working life did I imagine that I would find a problem with my own heart – especially so close to my wedding day,” said Amy, 33, from Tattenhall in Cheshire.

Realising the seriousness of the tumour, a left atrial myxoma, Amy was immediately referred to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

She said: “Just a couple of days after discovering the shadow, I was taken straight into theatre and surgeons performed a minimally invasive procedure to remove the tumour.”

Amy is one of only a few patients in the UK who have undergone a minimally invasive procedure to remove a heart tumour and it was thanks to this technique that she was able to recover in time for her big day two weeks later.

Paul Modi, consultant cardiac surgeon at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, said: “The traditional approach to removing an atrial myxoma involves opening the front of the chest and is very invasive requiring a three month recovery period. Clearly, Amy would not have recovered for her wedding day with this and would have had a visible scar on the front of her chest.

“However this new technique uses a small incision on the right side of the chest to give access to the heart and a high-definition video camera is then used to guide the procedure inside.

“This type of surgery is a significant advance for the treatment of selected heart tumours as it leaves minimal visible scarring and allows patients to return to regular activities within three weeks.”

Amy married her fiancée, Simon, at St Alban’s Church in Tattenhall on Saturday, and added: “There’s no way I would have recovered sufficiently to make it down the aisle if a traditional surgical procedure had been performed.

“I’m just so grateful for the quality of care and treatment that I received from Mr Modi and all his team, which helped to ensure that my wedding was even more special.”

Mr Modi added: “We’re absolutely delighted to have helped Amy and would like to send our congratulations to the newly married couple.”