Healthy You - Every Day

Minimally Invasive Heart Repairs Provide Fresh Start

At 80, Lower Macungie’s Ed Bruder is feeling great again

Ed Bruder is a former Boy Scout leader, but nothing could prepare him for the heart health crisis that hit him nearly a year-and-a-half ago.

He had always been healthy and active, so when he experienced some congestion and shortness of breath in March 2022, he went to his primary care doctor and was initially treated for a suspected sinus infection. But that clinician, Shane Scanlon, DO, with LVPG Family Medicine–Cetronia Road, also wanted Bruder to have his heart checked and sent him for an echocardiogram at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Muhlenberg.

Testing shows trouble

That test showed Bruder, a retired AT&T communications manager, had heart trouble – partially blocked coronary arteries and a narrowed aortic valve. “He (Dr. Scanlon) started the whole process, thank God,” Bruder says.

“I was quite surprised,” says Bruder. “I felt great. Doctors routinely ask if you have fatigue or chest pain, and I never did. There were times I would get tired or slow down, but I figured it was the result of aging, not a heart condition.”

Just days after that test, and before he could follow up with a Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute doctor closer to home and to LVH–Cedar Crest, his legs began to swell. “It was unusual because I never even had swollen ankles,” Bruder says. His wife of 53 years convinced him to go to the LVH–Cedar Crest emergency room during a strong thunderstorm.

A cardiac catheterization, a follow-up scan and another echocardiogram provided further confirmation of the problem. His heart was only working at half its capacity.

Did you know?

Lehigh Valley Health Network and Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute have performed more than 1,900 TAVR procedures since the procedure was approved in the U.S. in 2011.

Cleared arteries and a new heart valve

Bruder, who after retirement from AT&T took a job to design and implement Warren County, N.J.’s 911 system, was put on medication and in June, interventional cardiologist Shailendra Singh, MD used a catheter to reach and clear Bruder’s blockages and implanted a temporary miniature heart pump to help Bruder’s heart recover.

In early August, Dr. Singh and Jeffrey Veluz, MD, used a catheter to reach and replace Bruder’s compromised aortic valve in a procedure known as a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Bruder received a bioprosthetic aortic valve made from a pig heart.

“Dr. Veluz said, ‘We got you just in time,’ ” Bruder recalls.

Bruder says that after hearing his diagnosis, he just wanted to get on with getting things fixed. “I had no concerns about it not being successful. I just felt good I had these options. I had great people around me and I never doubted the outcome,” he says. “Fortunately, I didn’t have to have open heart surgery.”

In addition to Veluz and Singh, Bruder says he also was treated by interventional cardiologist Chirdeep Patel, MD, with LVH Cardiology. “They were all excellent,” he says.

“Ed’s case is a perfect example of the collaborative, team-based approach at Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute,” says Dr. Singh. “The expertise to handle even the toughest heart problems is saving lives every day.”

Enjoying retirement

Bruder says his doctors were pleased with his swift recovery. One day after receiving the new valve, he went home. “They were amazed at how quickly I recovered with my new valve,” he says.

Dr. Singh says Bruder’s heart function quickly regained full strength after the procedures. “I am very pleased with Ed’s full recovery in short order. His case proves how far medical innovation in cardiovascular care has come,” Dr. Singh says. “We’re fortunate to be able to provide the most leading-edge procedures and techniques at Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute.”

Bruder, father of two and grandfather to five, says it’s back to normal now, which means he and his wife are busy with many things, including attending their grandchildren’s sporting events. “I’m thrilled with the outcome,” he says.

Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute

Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute

Preventing and treating heart disease

The Heart and Vascular Institute is comprised of several multidisciplinary teams working together to treat complex conditions of the heart.

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