Richardson hospital streams patient's heart surgery on Facebook Live

Doctors at Methodist Richardson Medical Center performed a successful heart surgery — that was all streamed on Facebook Live.

By streaming the surgery, the doctors are hoping to introduce other patients to a different method which allows the surgical team to fix the problem without having to go through open-heart surgery.

The patient’s family says having the surgery streamed on Facebook Live let their friends and family from out of town watch as it was happening Thursday morning. But they also hope it calms other patients’ worries about having heart surgery.

Over the last year, the Klodnicki family has noticed their dad, 82-year old Jim Klodnicki, wasn’t acting like his usual self.

“Dad was just really getting tired very easily,” said Julie Perrin, Klodnicki’s daughter. “And it was just one of those things everybody started to notice.”

Klodnicki wrote it off as old age, but his yearly visit to the cardiologist revealed a heart valve needed to be replaced. But instead of open heart surgery, doctors told the family about a different method.

“The prospect of having their chest cracked open, you got to stop the heart, filet open the valve, clean it out, and sew it back together,” explained Dr. Nhan Nguyen with Methodist Richardson Medical Center. “That’s just too much. That’s just way too much. Some people would say forget it. I’m not even going to go to the doctor.”

Instead, doctors would go through an artery in the groin area - pushing the new valve in place.

Doctors say this method significantly cuts down on the months of recovery time that would follow open heart surgery.

“Whereas this procedure, I expect him to be up and walking in about four hours,” Nguyen said.

The surgery itself took only 15 minutes.

Klodnicki’s family hopes by sharing the surgery with the world that it can help ease someone else’s concerns about heart surgery.

“I think using the technology and what’s available and how connected we are in this world is really a great way to educate people and show people there are alternatives to what they know,” said Denise Munro, Klodnicki’s daughter.

Doctors plan to send Klodnicki home Friday and will continue with some rehab. But for the most part, he can return to normal everyday activities according to his doctors.