Intermountain Healthcare recently became the first company in Utah to perform new life-saving and less invasive heart surgery, benefiting Antonio Gomez, yes. (Nielsa Gomez)
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SALT LAKE CITY — Intermountain Healthcare recently became the first company in Utah to perform new life-saving and less invasive heart surgery.
“It’s been a real miracle for us and our family,” said Nilsa Gomez, whose husband underwent the new surgery.
Antonio Gomez, 64, lives a healthy and fulfilling life full of family.
But one day, he suddenly felt unbearable pain.
“Everything was going all out and I started to feel some weak pain in my chest … I was in so much pain, I wasn’t sure what was going on,” he said.
He had an aortic aneurysm and spent 22 days in intensive care when doctors told his wife his heart was bleeding and she said she was worried he would have to have open-heart surgery.
“We’ve prayed a lot for him and his recovery, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Nilsagomez said.
She said he had been home from the hospital for a few weeks and he was a very independent person before and suddenly he couldn’t do anything.
“He’s very sick, it’s not normal, he’s not my husband at all,” she said.
Intermountain Medical cardiologists John Doty and Evan Brownie noticed Antonio Gomez’s aorta widened within a month of his aneurysm doubled.
“Unfortunately, his wound did not heal. It continued to grow and expand and became in danger of rupture,” Dotti said.
That’s when doctors proposed a new procedure to the family that could save Antonio Gomez from open-heart surgery, called a thoracic endoprosthesis.
They repaired Antonio Gomez’s aortic aneurysm by injecting stents into his blood vessels.
“This device allows us to treat conditions like Antonio’s … by simply punching a hole in the artery,” Brownie said.
The new procedure allows surgeons to maintain blood flow to the brain throughout the procedure and can cut recovery time from weeks to days.
Antonio Gomez, who was discharged the day after surgery in October, is now back at work and celebrating life with his family.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who took care of me in those days,” he said.