Dear Dr. Lee:
I wanted to write you and thank you for your excellent work on finally ridding me of my Afib which started for me in 2012 when I first ended up in the ER. In 2012 I had a cardiac ablation procedure performed by an EP at Hoag Hospital. It was close to a 6 hour procedure at the hospital under general anesthesia and failed dismally. My Afib started up immediately while a few hours out of recovery. For me, undergoing general anesthesia is something I really dislike; I was so discouraged and I swore that I would never do it again. I had heard about people who had cardiac ablations 3x or more with the same dismal results. Over the next couple of years, I was on various medications trying to control my Afib (none of which worked) and was in and out of the ER as my Afib flared up. Then in 2014, I read about a talk that you were giving at Saddleback Memorial Hospital near me regarding your Robotic Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Ablation procedure. After seeing your presentation, I made an appointment to see you.
My Afib was electrical and not structural and you felt that I was a good candidate for this procedure. You explained the risks to me and I underwent the required tests to make sure that I was indeed a good candidate for this procedure. You explained that it was a two step process, with you performing the Robotic Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Ablation and then a couple of months later, a follow up cardiac ablation would be performed by another Cardiologist to do a “touch up.” Both procedures would be under general anesthesia. I am told that being on the table for hours for an EP ablation (as occurred on my very first ablation performed by an EP at Hoag Hospital in 2012) subjects the body to hours of radiation exposure that is cut to minutes with the spot welding 2nd look this combined procedure allows. In my mind, the reduction in radiation exposure is another definite benefit of this procedure. Although I had not been on Coumadin previously, prior to the procedure, you put me on Coumadin for a few weeks and I went for weekly testing to ensure the correct levels for the procedure.
During the Robotic Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Ablation procedure in December of 2014, you also ligated my left atrial appendage which I understand is a big plus compared to catheter ablation alone (where they never ligate the appendage.) I understand that it is thought that the appendage is the source of 90% of the strokes associated with Afib, thus the thought is that getting rid of it should by itself reduce my stroke risk significantly. Therefore, I understand that this makes this procedure better than catheter ablation alone.
In February of 2015, the second “spot welding” procedure was completed by Dr. Howard Frumin at Saddleback Memorial Hospital in a mere couple of hours. I left the hospital the same day.
I am happy to report that both procedures went well, I was in the hospital for a few days after the Robotic Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Ablation procedure and the drainage tubes were removed prior to leaving the hospital. Although I did experience some uncomfortableness and pain (which is mostly my fault as I refused to take pain medications), my downtime was minimal and that I have finally gotten rid of my Afib for once and for all. Oddly, after the two procedures, even my plantar fasciitis disappeared. I had been suffering with that for a long time and I don’t know if there is any connection, but my feet don’t hurt anymore and that’s a bonus! I am not on any medications at all, except for a nightly aspirin. That’s it.
I am happy to know that since I am free of Afib, my risk of stroke is no longer increased by 5x but is that of the general population. I don’t smoke, drink or take drugs and I lead an active live practicing martial arts as well as paddling one-man outrigger canoes at Dana Point, so I hope that my otherwise good health will keep me from having a stroke, especially now that my Afib is gone. Having a brother who did not have Afib, but had a massive stroke a few years ago, I know what a stroke looks like, what it does to families, and I did not want to follow in his footsteps if I could help it.
My recovery was pretty quick considering all that I went through and I was back to my martial arts training in about 3 months (as you know, I am a black belt in Shaolin Kempo, having practiced for 20 years now). I am turning 62 this year, and am getting ready for my second degree black belt test, normally 4-6 hours of hard work with no breaks, in December of this year. The only drawback I have experienced from these procedures is that my resting heart rate remains rather elevated at around 85-95 bpm (prior to the procedure, I had around a 65 bpm resting heart rate). Thus, I get tired faster during strenuous exercise, but I get through it all and at least I don’t have the fear of having a stroke! My regular Cardiologist, Dr. Sasan Ghaffari is really thrilled with the results of these procedures and with my progress and he is not worried about my elevated resting heart rate. He has told me to keep exercising as I do and that I don’t need to come in that frequently anymore, perhaps just once or twice a year from now on.
Many thanks for your expert work, as well as your kind and concerned after-care. I am happy that you are there to help others like me. All my best to you, your family and staff.
My triple bypass surgery is now nearing its first anniversary.
Since then I prayed every day for you, your surgical staff, the ICU nurses, and the organization that have given me new life. I pray every day for each and every person involved in my surgery and my recovery.
Prior to my surgery, you Dr. Lee and Dr. Baker explained to my wife Shirley and me your grave concerns over my heart blockages. Shirley and I were both stunned by your news. In summary I could have had a heart attack at any moment. The arteries leading to my heart was over 80% blocked. After further discussion, Shirley and I looked at each other and we agreed surgery as soon as possible was best.
My age is 89 and I am doing well. As serious as my surgery was, I want to express to you that I felt safe and secure in your hands and with your surgical staff. I say in conclusion, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!.
Enjoying our tour of Portugal…now headed to Spain. Al’s heart is cooperating. No Afib moments! Hoping it stays that way. Thanks so much for caring for Al.
It was a wonderful experience. I always felt I was in great care with Dr. Lee.
I would like to say thank you for your successful procedure on my dad’s heart. To have such a scare, it was a relief to know a person such as yourself did the procedure. It means a lot to my dad and our family that you still took the time out of your schedule to come say hi each day of his recovery in the hospital. Additionally, the staff was absolutely tremendous. I have never been to a hospital with such kind hospitality and care for their patients. Knowing our father was in good hands each hour of his recovery at the hospital brought comfort to our hearts and souls. I am not religious, but I feel as though this was a blessing in disguise. His life could’ve been taken weeks before, or even during his doctor ‘s visit. Now his heart will be better than before because of you and your team. Again, thank you and give my thanks to the staff that took care of him. For all the hard work, emotions, and long hours taken on by you and your staff day in and day out, and to continue to show love and care is outstanding. Thank you.
Dr. Lee seems to really listen to and care about his patients. Staff is extremely courteous, friendly, and professional.
Excellent, knowledgeable, listens well, great job, great follow-up, pleasant guy, very conscientious.
Couldn’t have had a better doctor. Dr. Lee is great!!!
MPTerrific from Angela on down.
Dr. Lee: I am not sure there are enough words of thanks to express my gratitude towards you. Your confidence, compassion, and professionalism made us feel at peace. My dad could not have had a better surgeon than you. God bless you always! Thanks for giving my dad a happy heart.
Dear Dr. Lee: To be or not to be is no longer the question because of the absolute excellence of my hero. You are, Dr. Lee as Dr. Rasouli has said many times, “the very best!” The emotions of appreciation and gratitude are difficult to express in common terms, words can only tell us so much. The feelings which abound can only come from deep admiration, respect, and recognition of the skills and abilities of a highly qualified doctor.
I am most fortunate to be on my feet again which only you could have made possible. Your calm and confidence passed on to me and for that reason, among many others, I knew before the operation that I would be fine and better tomorrow.
You, my doctor, my surgeon, are my forever hero. Many, many thanks Dr. Lee and many more success stories.
Very truly yours,
My wife Mary and I would like to express our sincere gratitude for the exceptional care and surgical skill of Dr. Jeffrey Lee, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, in the repair of my aortic aneurysm and replacement of my aortic valve.
My journey was a bit different than most. I had gone in for a pre-op for an unrelated health issue. It was found then that not only did I have a very enlarged heart, and needed a valve replacement, but I also had an aortic aneurysm. Doctor Lee and my Cardiologist Doctor Melford were beyond conscientious and compassionate about my health issue. From the first meeting with Doctor Melford and Doctor Lee, both my wife & I knew I was in good hands. Doctor Lee explained the procedure in detail and provided me the various valve choices – I chose the cow valve.
Angela and Shannon, Doctor Lee’s staff, were beyond helpful and provided excellent assistance with scheduling and the coordination of the State Disability Forms for me. Never having to have done this before, I was completely at a loss, but Angela assured me that she would take care of the paperwork. Also, a special thanks to Valentina Gonzales, who processed the forms promptly for State Disability Insurance. It was definitely a team effort, which provided comfort to my wife and me, especially at a time of uncertainty. Also, thank you to Susie Wagner, Cardiac Nurse Coordinator, who provided great explanation of all that the surgery would entail and what I was to expect during the process of the surgery. She also provided my wife information of what to expect and during the surgery, provided hour-by-hour updates on my progress.
The care that I received from my MemorialCare physicians & surgeons as well as the entire Team at Saddleback Memorial Hospital was outstanding!!! The whole procedure was so well orchestrated by everyone and the care after the surgery was the same!
A sincere Thank You from my now Healthy Heart!!!
Dr. Lee and his staff made me very comfortable. I was very scared. Whenever we had a problem we only had to call Angela and she helped us. We have had a very good experience.
Our experience with Dr. Lee and his staff (Angela and Shannon) has been amazing! We feel like you are part of our family!!! We feel so blessed to have found you. Thank you from our entire family in Michigan and California. Our Mom is the center of our world. We are looking forward to many more years! Best!
Dear Dr. Lee: Greetings from Europe! Andreas is doing very well. He is driving here as well. We want to thank you again for all you did for him, the surgery and excellent care. Thanks to you he is able to enjoy this trip and was able to celebrate his 80th birthday with his family in Hungary. Thank you very, very much!!!
Dr. Lee saw how important it was for me to have valve surgery and showed me what was needed to get better. He cared enough to do what was best for me. Its is important to know what’s best for his patients and he didn’t hesitate to follow through. Caring for the patient is so important and Dr. Lee stepped up and did what was necessary. I’m very thankful for his care. The surgery was done with nothing else but the best care. He is friendly and easy to talk to. At my former health plan, no one ever cared to address my problem and I’m very grateful he has given me a new life again. May he continue to be blessed with giving his patients another chance at life. He has a very special gift which is done with so much love and care. GOD BLESS YOU DR. LEE!!!
For such a major surgery, it was so easy. I didn’t have any remembrance of the surgery which went smoothly. THANK YOU FOR CARING DR. LEE You’re truly blessed!!!
The Master Heart Surgeon: I am writing on behalf of my father who underwent surgery with Dr. Jeffrey Lee on April 21, 2014. Dr. Lee was originally referred by Dr. Margaret Rasouli, who is my father’s cardiologist. My father had turned 90 on January 10 and was suffering from congestive heart failure when he first saw Dr. Lee. Read The Full Story Here
Dr. Lee made us feel welcome and well cared for every time we met with him. During these hard times of not knowing the outcome of surgery, Dr. Lee made us feel safe. Dr. Lee also gave us helpful information before and after the surgery. We have been grateful and appreciate the time and care he has provided during the hospital stay and follow-up. We have been blessed to have found such a caring Dr. and staff.
Our experience overall has been perfect and welcoming. We had never received this kind of care and help from staff before. Angela at Dr. Lee’s office has gone out of her way to help out. We’ve had many forms and papers that need doctor notes filled out. Angela has taken the time to do that for us. She has faxed all forms to work related offices. Angela has done everything with such love and helpfulness. We appreciate all of her hard work at Dr. Lee’s office.
I was able to see Dr. Lee after Moms surgery yesterday. I am so thankful that we found him and your team.
When I saw Dr. Lee yesterday I realized that thank you does not truly communicate how I feel. I appreciate his abilities more than he will ever know.
Dr. Lee tells it exactly as it is. He does not fake anything and he takes the time to help one understand the problem and how he will treat it. He is easy to admire because he is trustworthy and to the point. He is an outstanding doctor and an outstanding individual.
JJAAvailable. Cordial. Knowledgeable.
We were impressed by Dr. Lee’s knowledge and experience regarding the most recent technologies and surgical techniques available. The office staff is great! Always ready to help in anyway possible- especially when it came to EDD forms. Thank you all!!!
Dr.Jeffery Lee did my husbands surgery!!! What a fantastic surgeon. He change our whole life.
He’s a good doctor. He explained everything to us detail by detail. Thank you very much Doc, I owe you my life.
It was a great experience with Dr. Lee. He treated me as a family member, not a patient. He is always concerned about my health and problems. He explained my problem and treatment in an easy to understand way. After he did the treatment, I felt healthy again. Thank you Dr. Lee for all your help!
I was absolutely amazed that after my surgery my pain was at most a 5 out of 10 (10 being the worst pain I ever had), then soon thereafter only a 1 out of 10. I am amazed at how Dr. Lee helped me to make an almost pain-free recovery from a difficult surgery.
MKHe is a good man who cares about his patients.
I received excellent care at Saddleback Hospital. The nurses and entire staff were great!!! Dr. Lee was excellent. Explanation of entire process was great as well as follow-up! Thanks so much!
Wonderful experience in everyway! Angela is fabulous! She did an amazing job in arranging all facets of my surgery! Dr. Lee is the best!!! He was thoughtful and concerned about my health all throughout the surgery process.
Dear Dr. Lee,
This letter is certainly overdue. My wife and I felt compelled to write to you about our recent experience with the MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Saddleback Memorial Hospital and in particular the outstanding relationship and performance of you and your team.
As you know, I had surgery to replace my defective Aortic valve this past December. We had initially planned to have the open heart surgery performed by Dr. Perkowski. We were in the process of scheduling that surgery and pre-op requirements when Dr. Perkowski and his Nurse Coordinator, Suzi Wagner, informed us that I might be a candidate for a new, far less invasive surgery technique performed by you. When Mrs. Wagner explained the nature of the surgery and the benefits, we elected to set up a consultation with you.
From that very first meeting with you, we were impressed and convinced you should do my surgery. We greatly appreciated the time you spent with us to explain your background and past experience, my condition, the need for the surgery, the surgery techniques and what to expect during and after the surgery. We were also very impressed by a discussion we has in your waiting are with a gentleman who had undergone the same procedure two weeks prior, and the high regard he and his wife had for all the aspects of their experience with you. It was also impressive to see how well that gentleman was getting along.
The day of the actual surgery was one I faced with apprehension, but I greatly appreciated your encouragement and explanations immediately preceding my surgery. You certainly helped me to feel at ease as we moved forward. My wife was very appreciative of your post-surgery report to her in the waiting room. We both continued to be astonished by the amount of follow-up you gave me during my recovery. I have had many surgeries in the past nit o have never has surgeon who visited me multiple times every day I was in the hospital. I am very fortunate to have a medical team made up of several very caring and professional doctors and staff. Thant extends to your entire staff; my Internist Dr. Zamani; my cardiologist, Dr. Gault; my nephrologist, Dr. Ho; and my pulmonologist Dr. Vo. I can never convey the depth of commitment we experienced. I n fact my roommate in the hospital commented on this fact too. The nursing staff and therapists I saw while I was in Saddleback memorial hospital were also top notch in my book.
While I was in the hospital, I was so pleased to see the reaction of the nurses and staff that came to check my wound and their amazement at the limited size of the incision. Of course they were amazed and I was elated to experience what “less invasive” surgery would mean to me and my recovery. I had heard such ominous stories of the pain and discomfort associates with open heart surgery and having the entire sternum cracked open. I will not say that my experience was completely painless, but it was totally tolerable. In fact, I did have pain medication while I was in the hospital, but after I left the hospital, five days after surgery, I never needed even a Tylenol to manage pain. In the days after surgery I was able to easily accomplish the post-surgery care and therapy. I was released by the home health nurse in less than a week. I continued my at home physical therapy for two weeks with no difficulties. When I went to Cardiac Rehab, the staff told me I was far advanced compared to others who had valve replacement without the less invasive option.
Dr. Lee, I would be remiss not to mention the outstanding care and attention rendered by Suzi Wagner, your nurse coordinator. She goes way beyond all our expectations. She gave us such excellent direction, was there at every step to tell is what to expect, she seemed to be wherever we needed her to be, whenever we needed her. This was all without any request from us. I particularly want to commend the fact that during surgery, she gave my wife frequent and complete reports of the progress of the surgery. She seemed to have needless energy, expended to make sure our every need is exceeded.
I would also like to thank the effort and help of Angela in your office. She was always pleasant, helpful and professional. It is obvious she cares greatly about your patients.
In closing, Dr. Lee, my wife and I would certainly give the highest recommendation of you, your staff and saddleback memorial. I am forever grateful to you. Thank you for coming to Saddleback Valley. I feel so fortunate to have been your patient and to have benefited from your excellent skill and care.
“Dr. Lee literally saved my life. I had received considerable negative sentiments towards my condition from other professionals. Dr. Lee assured me that I had nothing to fear; that all would be fine. He was most instrumental in keeping my spirit high and helping me through stressful times. His skills and expertise were of course also critical.” CL
“Very Excellent. Stopped by everyday-much appreciated. Thanks for my new heart. Many, Many thanks for answering all my questions. Thanks for the entire Surgical Team you are all the very best. Thanks for your staff who and when were very helpful.” JR
“Dr. Jeffrey D. Lee is an excellent Heart Surgeon. During and after my surgery he went above and beyond what I could have expected. Especially in the critical moments after my surgery in the middle of the night when Dr. Lee returned to my bedside and stayed with me for several hours, to make sure my condition was stabilized. He is Very Very Caring Professional kind and Compassionate. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!” AB
“Could not have been better – 100%. No better doctor could be found – compassionate, wonderful bedside manner. No Wait time.” JH
“Very personable, explains things in laymen’s terms, seems to care a great deal. Makes multiple hospital visits. He has a great surgical nurse Suzi! We know we hit your practice as you were transitioning to the new location. We expected there could be glitches but we were never impacted by any. The staff is very pleasant (Angela & Suzi).Suzi attention to detail and to us was beyond the call of duty and so appreciated.” RM“Dr. Lee is wonderful-I cannot say enough good about him, thank you.” GB
“A wonderful Experience to the extent open heart surgery can be considered a great experience. Dr. Lee is the Best. First off can I just say how Honored and Proud I am to be one of Dr. Lee’s patients. Angela was wonderful- she personally delivered my cellphone that I had left in the office.” SC
“Friendly and knowledgeable… and that from a retired Dr. Now patient prospective. He should be proud, thanks for your care and getting me in very quickly. Good Luck” CH
“First time I met Dr. Lee (very Satisfied). I would recommend him to ANYONE.” Mr. & Mrs. FP
“YOU ALL ROCK!!!!!! You treated Justin so great, and answered the 20 questions we had including all the callbacks. We are so happy that we put our trust in you.” JL
“I did not actually choose Dr. Lee. My cardiologist Dr. Lamont did. After having an angiogram, the cardiologist met with Dr. Lee and a bypass was scheduled for the next day. He told me what they were going to do, which arteries they were going to try and use for the bypass, and how long it would take. He kept my wife informed as to how things were going during the 7 hour surgery. After surgery he came in and saw me every day and evening. I don’t think I could have chosen a better surgeon, I am very HAPPY as to how things turned out.” DW
“I have a high level of confidence in Dr. Lee and his Capacity. Just an FYI I am in sinus rhythm once again.” KC“Dr. Lee was so WONDERFUL!!!!!! THANK YOU FOR FIXING MY HEART.” EB
“Dr. Lee is the greatest. I am very satisfied with Dr. Lee. He is the best. I already talked to my friends about Dr. Lee and the hospital Saddleback. They should come to see Dr. Lee.” VC“Great!” DS
My father came in for heart surgery today (3/19). I drove up here from San Diego and stayed here all day. I am so incredibly impressed with the level of communication and support that I received while waiting. I was able to meet the surgical team, led by Dr. Lee, before he went into surgery and I appreciated the up-beat attitude that they all showed. (Unfortunately I don’t remember everyone’s name.) Donna Pickard, Rose Ferencik, and Susan aka Suzy the heart lady were there to answer all of my questions and I received periodic detailed updates throughout the surgical procedure. As a result, I always felt connected with the process and I was able to keep my sister and brother, who live out of state, up to date on how everything was going. This was especially comforting to my sister.
I also loved the fact that Dr. Lee came out to talk to us after the surgery and answer any questions we might have had.
Overall, this was a very positive experience, despite the seriousness of the surgery. Please convey my heart-felt thanks to the entire surgical staff for doing an amazing job communicating progress so that I felt well informed, cared for, comfortable and important.
Thank you for taking such good care of my husband yesterday. He came home singing praises to you and Dr. Lee. Appreciate it! JS
Dr. Lee has been caring and very compassionate to myself and my family, I received the best care possible. I don’t believe that I would be alive today had it not been for Dr. Lee’s quick diagnosis and action regarding surgery. Thank you Dr. Lee and staff.
I think Dr. Jeffrey D. Lee is excellent. He is an extremely skilled cardiothoracic surgeon and is very responsible for my quick recovery. I have experienced no pain after leaving the hospital and have made a quick recovery after quadruple bypass surgery. I am completely satisfied with my incision and recovery. No infections and no drainage issues. I would recommend Dr. Lee to any family member or friend who needs heart surgery. It was all good. Hospital staff gave excellent care. Dr. Lee’s care for me was excellent. Absolutely no complaints.
Dr. Lee was very prompt in returning my phone call and ordering medication when I developed a cough that was causing a lot of chest pain. My experience with the hospital staff was as professional as anyone could ever hope for. Without exception every nurse was courteous and knowledgeable.
While I wasn’t scheduled to use Dr. Lee, he has taken great care of me like he’s been my doctor for years. I appreciate his willingness to talk with me even when he is very busy. He took great care of me and my family. Dr. Lee’s staff is great as well. They took the time to wheelchair me to the car. They go the extra mile to give great care!
I met Dr. Lee after my stress test and daily visits while I was in the hospital. He was very informative, kind and caring. He was also very knowledgeable and stubborn(persistent) – which turned out to be the right call in not letting me go home for a day.
Very compassionate, knowledgeable, and answered all my questions. Very grateful and happy to have gotten him for my doctor. His expertise in his field is amazing.
Dear Dr. Lee
Thank you so very much for such a successful surgery and for your care and concern about Scott. It was so reassuring to know we had you as our surgeon! Thank you again!