Sarah Bennetch

First post: Aug 18, 2019 Latest post: Jan 10, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.  

This site is to bring friends and families up to date with events surrounding a procedure that was scheduled for August 15th at the Cleveland Clinic.  Most of you know that Sarah has had an implanted defibrillator since 2003, a device that monitors the electrical performance of her heart and intervenes to prevent fatal occurrences of ventricular tachycardia.  Her heart has been very stable for the last 4 years, with just a few blips for which we have been glad for the defibrillator function.  Her heart has been stable, but the original cables that screw into her heart for monitoring and treatment began to break down a few years ago.  So far two new cables have replaced old ones...but it is a far more delicate operation to remove those old cables, so they just leave them in...until you run out of room to thread them through the main veins of the heart.  Another cable began to break down badly in January, and we were informed about 3 weeks ago by our specialist in Cleveland that it would need to be replaced.  So, this very delicate and somewhat risky procedure to remove the old cables was scheduled for the 15th. 

We are fortunate to have the best cable extractor in the world working with us here in the Clinic.  One of the risks encountered in removing cables is that of the way they can become embedded into the heart tissue or attach to scar tissue in the veins where they are routed.  We knew this was not a routine procedure, and indeed Sarah's doctor ran into that problem of scar tissue in the vena cava, the main vein  that gives access to the cables into the heart. A tear in the wall of the vein occurred despite his best efforts.  When this happens there is no other solution than to open the chest cavity immediately and attempt a repair, which is even more delicate.  Thank God for the efforts of the hybrid team who did open heart surgery immediately and were able to patch one tear and one other hole in the vein.  Initial feedback indicates that this repair was very successful.  We thank God and a skilled team for saving Sarah's life.  What now?

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