Medical City Plano July 12, 2017

Gary Sue Wilson with her granddaughter Hunter Wilson

66-year-old Pilot Point retiree Gary Sue Wilson is resting easier after receiving a pioneering and potentially life-saving heart surgery performed for the first time in Collin County at Medical City Plano. Wilson was implanted with the recently FDA approved Amplatzer PFO (patent foramen ovale) Occluder device by interventional cardiologist Akram Khan, MD.

The Amplatzer PFO Occluder is the first device created and approved by the FDA for patients who have reoccurring strokes due to a PFO, or a small hole in the heart. The Amplatzer takes 1-2 hours to implant through a catheter and requires less than 24 hours of hospitalization, eliminating the need for open heart surgery.

“This successful procedure was the result of a team of medical providers working together – cardiac specialists and neurology specialists – to design a plan that would be most beneficial for the patient,” said Charles Gressle, CEO of Medical City Plano. “We are proud to provide North Texans with pioneering treatments that continuously improves the health of the region.”

Patients with PFO often live undiagnosed until a serious medical crisis, including stroke, occurs. The American Heart Association estimates about 25% of people have this heart condition, which cannot be corrected with medication. Further testing showed that Wilson had suffered several mini-strokes. Using the device to close his PFO decreases the chance of a large stroke in the future.  

“The surgery was much easier than I anticipated it would be, and I was only in the hospital for a day or so,” said Wilson. “I had no side effects from the surgery and didn’t even need pain medication. Now I have comfort knowing this won’t be an issue for me in the future.”

Medical City Plano heart and vascular physicians work closely with brain and spine experts to design a precise care plan for this procedure. Medical City Plano has been a long-standing leader in heart and vascular services and was the first hospital in Collin County to provide comprehensive cardiovascular medicine to its patients in 1987.