Andrew Ellis

What the ExoVasc operation was like and means for me

At the time of writing this it is now two months since I had my operation. As far as any real improvements go it is hard to say if I have noticed anything myself as I was a relatively fit person before I had the operation. So for me and as is the situation with the ExoVasc procedure. It is going to be in the future months and years that I will hopefully reap the benefits from the procedure.

The important thing is what it means in the long term for me or anybody who undergoes the procedure in the future. Despite having full blown Marfans I have always been a keen football player and even qualified as a coach. This operation means that I should be able to carry on with what is one of my main passions in life without having to worry about what if or what might happen. Just as important for myself and I am sure most with Marfans. It means I will not have to take Warfarin for the rest of my life as I would had to do if I had undergone the existing, recognised Bentall procedure. For me there can simply be no price, value, or words attached to that which could possibly sum up what that means.

The operation and recovery for me was actually relatively painless. Yes there was some discomfort and some pain over the initial few weeks. I would not be being honest if I said there was not. However it is amazing how quickly the body recovers. By the time I was home I was already capable of all the essential everyday things you would need to do at home. I was out of hospital just four days after the operation and I am already starting to exercise again. The main thing that affected me was that I became tired out very quickly and easily. This is the main thing that prohibits you from getting straight back to your old ways and work. I was also very stiff and did ache first thing in the morning. Once awake and upright that does calm down though. You must be careful not to lift anything heavy, move to quickly or stretch for things. This does also get better and easier quicker than you expect though. I have no other lasting effects from the surgery now though. Indeed, suffice to say apart from my scar as a reminder that I underwent the procedure it is almost as though I never had it at all.

I owe a great deal of thanks to Tal, Professor Pepper and their team for allowing me to be one of the initial recipients of what I am sure will become an extremely successful procedure and give many more with Marfans a better life and more positive outlook for the future.

Overall I would recommend that anybody suitable for the procedure gives serious consideration to it. The benefits already shown in the patients who have undergone the procedure are already fantastic and appear to only promise further good results in the future.

Year of operation: 2008