Heart surgery breakthrough at a Valley hospital

FRESNO, Calif.

Neil Lawson is recovering from major heart bypass surgery. He is also the first person in the Valley to undergo a cutting edge procedure. Lawson said, "I am the first lucky guy, which I do consider myself, very fortunate indeed."

Lawson had a stroke earlier this year. Soon after, doctors at Community Regional Medical Center told him he needed triple bypass surgery. He had three clogged arteries.

In the past, patients like Lawson would need up to three months to recover. Now, in a new minimally invasive procedure, known as a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, people like Lawson can get back to work in two to three weeks.

Dr. Pervaiz Chaudhry operated on Lawson. He says in the past, doctors cut through the sternum which increased recovery time. Now, Dr. Chaudhry makes a small incision underneath the patient's breast and avoids the bone. He says this type of surgery has a less painful recovery and patients heal faster.

Lawson is happy he'll be able to get back to work, sooner. He said, "One of my concerns was getting back to work because you can lose your insurance if you miss your work."

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