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"Off-Pump" Cardiac Surgery: Frank's Story

Frank Culp needed a coronary artery bypass surgery, but doctors at Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at Johns Hopkins performed an "off-pump" cardiac surgery where the heart lung bypass machine is not used.

Frank and Bernice Culp

Story Highlights

  • Frank Culp discovered he had elevated blood pressure after a blood pressure screening.
  • Frank came to the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery for a second opinion.
  • He was told he needed coronary artery bypass surgery.
  • Frank was treated with an "off-pump" cardiac surgery technique reduces the blood loss that is commonly associated with the bypass machine.

In the spring of 2013 Frank and Bernice Culp decided to take advantage of a free Vascular Screening for those over 60 with elevated cholesterol.

“Blood pressure screening revealed elevated blood pressure,” Frank remembers. “I had no chest pains. Up to then, my pressure had been normal. It was recommended I see m y PC.”

His Primary Care Physician referred him to a cardiologist who recommended he have stents placed.

 “When the doctor who recommended stents showed no concern for our stand on blood it sent up red flags,” says Bernice. “We made an appointment for a second opinion at Hopkins Center for Bloodless Medicine.”

At Hopkins Frank was referred to Dr. John Resar, the director of the cardiac catheterization lab who used a radial artery approach (through the arm), which is associated with less bleeding than the standard approach through the groin. The procedure revealed that stents would not be beneficial because of the location of the blockages. Frank needed coronary artery bypass surgery.  

Anyone can imagine how he felt.

“Anxious!” he admits. But “after working with Andrew Pippa at the Center we were less anxious.” He “was so helpful in getting us to this point.”

Frank and Bernice also talked to Dr. Steven Frank the Medical Director of the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at Johns Hopkins. When Dr. Frank referred him to Dr. John Conte, the Culps were happy to hear that bloodless surgery was possible.

Dr. Conte decided Frank’s case would be best served by performing an "off-pump" cardiac surgery where the heart lung bypass machine is not used. This technique reduces the blood loss that is commonly associated with the bypass machine.

The 4-hour surgery went very well. In fact, three days later, when Andrew went to visit Frank, he was astounded to find out that the patient had already been discharged to home! Two weeks after the surgery Frank and Bernice were able to attend our Open House for the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery.

“The program has definitely helped ease anxieties. Jehovah has educated and continues to educate us for life now and in the future,” Frank said recently. “We often tell others about this program.”

Bernice agrees. “Jehovah knew what Frank needed. He knows what any obedient servant needs!”

Frank’s recovery went so well that less than six months after the surgery, he and Bernice attended the Special Convention in South Africa, 2013. Frank describes it as a “truly a remarkable experience. There were such organized arrangements for each delegate.  Our friends in South Africa were truly hospitable…”

“Despite the 18 hour flight,” Bernice describes the trip as “most enjoyable, encouraging and educational.”

Since the surgery Frank has been “doing quite well.” Making a point for all of us he says “…reminders from health professionals and PCP help keep us relatively healthy. I’ve been pioneering for five years.”

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