Clark Howard’s heart surgery goes well, his wife said

RODNEY HO / rho@ajc.com
Not pretty: "All I have to sell is that I am who I am," says soon-to-be-TV host Clark Howard.

Credit: AJC

Credit: AJC

RODNEY HO / rho@ajc.com Not pretty: "All I have to sell is that I am who I am," says soon-to-be-TV host Clark Howard.

The podcast and TV consumer rights advocate Clark Howard made it through aortic valve replacement surgery without incident Wednesday morning, his wife Lane said.

“Just spoke with the surgeons and the procedure went perfectly!” she wrote this morning in a text to friends. She allowed The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to post the news. “Clark has a nice new Sapien X4 valve pumping away, and we are hoping to get to see him soon. I hear he was chatty even as he was under during the procedure ... no surprise there. Probably asking the doctors if they had gotten a travel deal lately.”

Cardiothoracic surgeon Vinod Thourani implanted the valve in the 68-year-old Howard at Piedmont Hospital. In an interview before the procedure, Howard said only two of three leaflets in his aortic valve were functioning properly, a problem he has had all his life. For decades, it wasn’t life threatening but in October, doctors told him it had deteriorated to the point he needed a replacement or he could die sooner rather than later.

Howard opted for an experimental transcatheter treatment that has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He said it is far less invasive than open-heart surgery and has far shorter recovery time.

“They need guinea pigs,” Howard said. “I signed up to be a guinea pig. If it works, I’ll have a fully functioning aortic valve.”

The valve, he noted, is “part metal, part fabric, part cow. It’s a really crazy looking thing.”

He said if all went well, he could be back to work within a month. He currently hosts a daily podcast and regular TV segments for stations all over the country including WSB-TV in Atlanta. (He left radio in 2020.)

Suzanne Nadell, the news director at WSB-TV, said she was thrilled that “all went well.”

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