Dana Coburn finds normalcy once again after year-long aortobifemoral bypass recovery

Lake resident Dana Coburn thought he would have to settle with the terrible pain that shot through his feet – a pain he had been living with for months. That was until he met Dr. Omar P. Haqqani, Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Vascular Health Clinics in Midland, MI.

Roughly one year ago, Dana was at one of the most physically demanding points in his life. Dana began to experience severe pain in both of his feet, unable to walk more than 50 feet without having to rest.

 

After discussing his symptoms with his medical doctor, he was referred to Dr. Haqqani, who confirmed after analyzing his diagnostic tests that the pain he was experiencing in his feet was the result of a blockage in his common iliac artery with high grade aortic stenosis.

“Dr. Haqqani had isolated my situation to help determine that’s where the problem had occurred,” Dana said. “He told me that the iliac area was where the problem was, and assured me that he could fix it.”

In order to cure Dana of his pain, Dr. Haqqani explained that he would have to undergo an aortobifemoral bypass – a procedure that would bypass Dana’s diseased iliac artery with a prosthetic, allowing for blood to flow freely to the necessary areas.

“They explained to me that they’d cut me open, move my stomach out of the way so they could access the area, and put everything back in the right place when they were finished,” Dana said. “I knew that I needed the procedure, and that it would have been difficult to have gone without it.”

“It was an outstanding procedure,” Dana added. “I don’t know what kind of sedation they used, but I don’t remember anything that happened.”

Though Dana mentioned the road back from his condition had been initially difficult, the lasting effects of the procedure were well worth undergoing the initial procedure.

Dana noted the only difficulty he initially dealt with was during the first two weeks, when going from laying down to standing.

“My stomach was very sore,” Dana said. “Due to the nature of the surgery, for the first couple of weeks, I had to relearn how to do normal things, like get out of bed, lift objects, take showers. After a couple of weeks though, things got better.”

Over the past year, Dana has shown slow, steady improvement of his condition, noting that his legs and feet have started to return to normal.

“Everything was taken care of with that one major surgery,” Dana said. “The only follow-up I had was to make sure that my sutures were still in place, to make sure there wasn’t a risk of infection. It’s a slow recovery, but if you do it their way, it’s a good recovery.”

As Dana begins to return to normal after his procedure, his greatest hope is to return to work. For all of his life, Dana worked in construction, specializing in sheet metal and carpentry.

“I love the work, and I thought I’d be able to work until I was 70 or 75,” Dana said. “My advice is when you’re planning your life, always plan like you’re going to go on disability. I’m not physically able to do what I’m able to do, even though I have 33 years of work in me.”

As of now, Dana is medically retired, but hopes to be able to get back to the work he loves so dearly. For the time being, Dana remains optimistic, citing a deep-rooted connection with his family, children, and wife of 47 years.

Thanks to Dr. Haqqani and the surgical staff at Vascular Health Clinics, he’ll be closer than ever to obtaining that goal.

“I look forward to a full recovery, and hopefully getting to work again,” Dana said.

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