During the open heart procedure, Dr. Hartman and his team used a minimally invasive technique to harvest a vein from Sam’s leg. (Northwell doctors use minimally invasive endovascular harvest techniques as the standard of care for every bypass patient.) The vein was then used to create a graft, effectively restoring blood flow to the heart.
“Dr. Hartman’s skill is unquestionable,” says Sam. “And his empathy and bedside manner with patients and families is just amazing.”
“I told Dr. Hartman he makes me want to be a better doctor,” adds Maggie, a Northwell ophthalmologist. “He’s just such a kind and caring person and gives you all the time you need to ask questions and feel comfortable. That’s a big deal for a surgeon. We were really lucky.”
Partly because Sam had no damage to his heart muscles (thanks to his healthy lifestyle), his recovery was quick and smooth. He was in the cardiothoracic ICU for less than a day, and then spent three days on a regular floor.
“You can just tell how well the entire cardiothoracic department works,” says Maggie. “Everyone is happy and collaborates so well together. They all really care about their patients.”
After Sam was discharged, a nurse and physical therapist visited him at home several times to check on his progress—part of Northwell's Follow Your Heart program. Now he’s participating in Northwell’s cardiac rehabilitation program and working his way back up to his previous exercise threshold. “I feel like everything is moving forward, and I’m getting back to the old me,” says Sam.
“My family feels very fortunate,” adds Maggie with a smile. “We’re looking forward to spending many more years with my dad.”