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23 Ratings • 5 Comments

3.8
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Five Stars

I'd give him 6 stars if I could for my triple bypass in 2003

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Five Stars

Dr Bethencourt was refered to me by two very dear friends that said if they ever had to have heart surgery he would be the one to do. He and his staff where very good to me, I traveled from CO to CA to have my surgery performed and I have no regrets. Thanks Dr Bethencourt for giving me a new lease on life!

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10 minutes
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Mitral Valve Repair + Surgical Maze

I am sincerely sorry that the surgical procedures on the 85-year old woman reported in an earlier rating went so wrong.Two matters in that report bother me. First, why would a cardiologist recommend such a major surgery in this instance unless the situation was almost hopeless? Second, I was not aware that heart valves could be replaced via scope access: repair - yes, replacement - ?My experience (at age 70) with this surgeon was absolutely the opposite. He took considerable effort and time to explain my options for mitral valve repair/replacement (as dictated his judgement during the surgery) and for the surgical Maze to cure or improve my A-Fib. Included were his opinions of the less-invasive approach vs. median sternotomy in my situation.My surgery and recovery went quite well (not that it was pleasant). My mitral valve was repaired, but the surgical Maze didn't totally resolve my A-Fib. Throughout, Dr. Bethencourt was very professional plus being solicitous of me as a person.

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25 minutes
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Did too extensive a surgery on my mother

My mother's cardiologist recommended a valve replacement using a scope procedure. She was 85. Bethencourt convinced my mother to do an open chest surgery, including a MAZE procedure, saying she'd "be a new woman." Unfortunately, she did not go back to the cardiologist for confirmation. She never fully recovered from the open chest procedure, and died last month. Who knows what would have happened with the scope procedure, but an extensive open chest on an 85 year-old seems risky at best. I would have preferred a surgeon who worked more closely with the cardiologist.

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Misled on surgery technique

Dr. said that he could "separate" muscle tissue to do surgery without cutting the tissue; "his new technique". During my recovery, I found that he did cut through the muscle tissue and had not used this separation technique at all, leaving me with a upper back muscle that has ached and spasmed off and on for nearly 20 years. Tired of hurting...hope this helps any perspective surgery patients of his.

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30 minutes
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