Constrictive Pericarditis: Cleveland, Mayo, or Stanford?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/28/2011 1:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with possible constrictive pericarditis about a year ago, and recently the diagnosis has been confirmed by cath and followup echo.  This probably was a result of heart valve surgery that I had two years ago.  I am now trying to choose a heart center and surgeon for a surgery this summer.  I've narrowed down the hospitals to Cleveland, Mayo, and Stanford.  If you had your surgery at one of these three places, would you let me know where, and the name of the surgeon?  Also, I'd appreciate it if you can tell me a little about the cause of the constrictive pericarditis and the outcome.
I am not so afraid of surgery (I've been through that before even though I'm 48).  However, what I'm very much afraid of is continuing to feel bad after surgery.  My understanding is that constrictive pericarditis due to an earlier surgery is not solved as readily by a pericardiectomy as viral or idiopathic constrictive pericarditis.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/28/2011 6:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell.
You have narrowed down your list to 3 hospitals with great reputations.
Being a Minnesota gal,  I love to promote Mayo...............however I have read some outstanding articles on Cleveland Clinic.
I have not been to any of these hospitals for medical care so I hope someone who has experience comes along.
I wish you peace.

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 5/6/2011 8:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm an avid fan of Mayo in MN, its a 12 hour drive one way for us whilst Cleveland is a 6 hour drive one way - BUT - Cleveland Clinic has been rated #1 in cardiac care for quite a few years now and we've not needed cardiac care.
My computer says I need to upgrade my brain to be compatible with its new software.

New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/17/2011 6:16 AM (GMT -6)   
My husband had a complete pericardectomy in 11/2004 at the Cleveland Clinic. I believe that Dr. Gosta Pettersson was his doctor. He had been ill since 7/2002, and it was fully 2 years before the cause was correctly diagnosed, despite round after round of every possible specialist seeing him. Once it was determined what the problem was, we spent 3 months fighting with our insurance company to get them to allow us to go to the Cleveland Clinic, rather than have the operation done locally. We had to have the chief of surgery at both heart centers in western NY certify that, while they did partial resections for valve replacement (?), a complete resection was something they had never done, and should only be done at one of the 3 major centers you mention.

The cause of John's constrictive pericarditis was never determined. He was literally at death's door, when we left our local hospital (where he had been for a week, while they tried to stabilize him enough to make the trip) for the 4 hour ambulance ride to Cleveland. He spent another 10 days at CC prior to the surgery, while they ran tests to confirm diagnosis and continued to work to stabilize his condition. The surgery was a success, but his recovery was a very difficult road. He developed critical care neuropathy , from which he suffers to this day. (A small price to pay for his life, though).

I would not hesitate to recommend the Cleveland Clinic to anyone facing this ordeal. Obviously, the sooner a correct diagnosis is obtained and the condition dealt with, the better the chances for an excellent outcome. Best wishes to you, I'm sure that any of the three choices will work out fine.
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