Doctor Celebrates Anniversary of First Open Heart Surgery in Dothan

One local doctor is celebrating an important anniversary this month. More than 25 years ago open heart surgery was born in Dothan.

“I kind of reminisced and I just smile,” says Doctor Edward Planz.

In January of 1986 Doctor Planz performed Dothan's first open heart surgery at Flowers Hospital. Looking back, he says it isn't the case he would've picked.

"It was a young lady that needed surgery. It wasn't the easiest case. She came in during the middle of a heart attack. She was brought over as an emergency for our first surgery, and we hit the road running. With the Grace of God and with a lot of good help, the team was ready and she survived the surgery. It was quite successful and we haven't looked back sense,” he says.

Since that emergency surgery Doctor Planz has seen a lot of innovation.

“Heart surgery has morphed into many, many different avenues. There have been many improvements in valvular surgery with the use of artificial heart valves and now more importantly repairing valves, “says Dr. Planz.

After 25 years, he continues to do what he loves, and feels blessed to be given that chance.

Dr. Planz says, ”I love what I do. I have a god given talent that I developed. So I am an instrument of God. I like helping patients; I like to think I extend their lives. I enable them to have a better quality of life. “

Doctor Planz is still working with the southeastern cardiovascular associates and both hospitals in Dothan.


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