Penn Heart and Vascular

Dante's Experience with the Heart Valve Disease Program

Dante's Story

"The research and recommendations kept coming back to Penn."

Dante Parenti, 52, Attorney

"So I'm 52 years old and I go in for a checkup. The doctor listens to my heart and immediately refers me to a cardiologist. He thought I had a leaky mitral valve, which as it turns out, runs in my family... and usually requires surgery.

I'm the kind of person who likes to get things over with, so I started asking around for the best surgeons right away. I did a lot of research online, got a referral from my cardiologist, and talked to friends and family who had had heart surgery in the past. All the research and recommendations kept coming back to Penn Medicine (including from a friend that had also had surgery at the Cleveland Clinic) - and one doctor's name kept coming up: Dr. Hargrove at Penn Presbyterian.

I wanted someone who had a lot of experience doing exactly the kind of procedure I was getting – a mitral valve repair – and Dr. Hargrove had done over a thousand procedures like mine. So that was a no-brainer.

I ended up having a minimally invasive procedure to repair my valve. Using the port access technique, they accessed my heart between my ribs. They didn't have to crack my chest open, and it left only a small scar.

The procedure was very successful, and today I'm back working, six days a week, doing everything I did before—and then some. I work on the second floor of an office building and now, when I take the stairs, my secretary doesn't always comment that I seem out of breath. Back when I had the valve problem, it was really slowing me down. Now I have more energy than ever. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the way I was treated and I'm glad I chose Penn Medicine."

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