Li Hongyang, 37, traveled all the way from his hometown of Shanghai China to find the best possible care for his complex heart condition. What he did not expect is that he would receive his lifesaving treatment at a children’s hospital.
Li acquired pulmonary vein stenosis on all four of his pulmonary veins as a secondary complication after treatment for atrial fibrillation. This very rare and serious condition is typically diagnosed in infants born with a congenital heart defect. Because it is so rare, few adult cardiologists are experienced to treat the disease, which involves cardiac catheterization to open up the pulmonary veins and restore blood flow from the lungs to the heart.
"I didn't want to take any more risks especially after the failures of three radiofrequency ablations in China. I chose to go to the United States after I found several essays that she published on the subject of pulmonary vein stenosis by Dr. Lourdes Prieto. I felt confident that she has experience in treating this considerably rare disease," said Li.
Dr. Prieto, a renowned interventional pediatric and adult congenital cardiologist with the Heart Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital is experienced in the care of children and adults with congenital abnormalities. She has been following Li for the last year and had performed his first catheterization at another facility in Ohio.
"At first I was a little surprised that I would be undergoing a procedure in a children’s hospital but I think finding a good doctor is the most important thing."
Dr. Prieto performed a catheterization and placed two more stents in the pulmonary veins to normalize blood flow from the lungs to his heart.
"I felt very good after the procedure and was even able to drive after being discharged. I am thankful to have found Dr. Prieto,” said Li.