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The ventricular assist device assisted the patient in returning to their former life

Almost 15 years ago, the now 68-year-old Toivo Ihanainen found himself getting tired while jogging, which was not normal for him. As an enthusiastic exerciser, he concluded that all was not well.

Hoitaja keskustelemassa potilaan kanssa

The stress tests carried out at the Central Finland Central Hospital showed normal results for his age, but Ihanainen was not satisfied with the answers and knew that the result was not normal considering his condition. In 2003, Ihanainen ended up undergoing coronary bypass surgery, in which a total of six arteries were bypassed.

“I was discharged from the hospital and kept striving at home to rehabilitate myself, but I did not notice any improvement in my condition. For example, in a rowing competition, I was completely exhausted,” Ihanainen says.

When symptoms persist after cardiac bypass surgery, treatment is followed with a cardiac pacemaker

Examinations revealed that at some point in his life, Ihanainen had suffered a myocardial infarction, and at the same time, he was diagnosed with left side cardiac failure. In 2007, he had a cardiac pacemaker installed in Jyväskylä.

“For a couple of years I went for check-ups and at one of the appointments in Jyväskylä, the doctor concluded that something was still wrong with the man.”

From then on, Ihanainen started visiting Meilahti regularly and the experts ended up recommending a ventricular assist device for him.

“I had never heard of such a thing. A group of physicians came to me to inform and talk to me about the matter, and after this I also agreed that I needed a ventricular assist device.”

After installation of the ventricular assist device, my condition finally began to improve

The ventricular assist device was installed in January 2015, and after that Ihanainen started to notice a change.

“When I got home, I started going for walks and to climb the stairs. At first it felt hard, but I noticed that little by little I began to recover. Now I can be active like I used to. I feel like I haven’t been in such a good shape in almost 20 years,” he says.

Ihanainen has nothing but positive things to say about the installation of the ventricular assist device and his hospitalization at the HUS Heart and Lung Center. "I still remember how friendly the surgeons, nurses and physiotherapists were."

“My experiences here are very good. There was really nothing negative. I’m doing very well now and I'm back in my former life.”

Now Ihanainen is on a one-day visit to Meilahti from Saarijärvi. He has a replacement of the ventricular assist device’s central processing unit scheduled. At home, the now retired former telecommunications technician is planning to keep himself busy with some construction things and other activities.

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