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Homestead mayor recovers from surgical procedure to improve blood flow

Homestead Mayor Steven Bateman says he has a new lease on life.

He turns 58 Friday, and recently underwent surgery at South Miami Hospital to help improve arterial blood flow, after fatty deposits caused blockages that if not fixed could have led to a heart attack, a stroke, or blood clot.

“As I look back, I had been experiencing numerous symptoms for months,” Bateman wrote on Facebook. Adding later in an email that the symptoms stemmed from “job-related stress” and that tests done about seven months ago did not reveal any medical issues.

Bateman said he had an outpatient “stent placement” April 11. Doctors usually perform the procedure after a patient has a heart attack or experiences pain, said Dr. Harry Aldrich, a South Miami cardiologist who was not Bateman’s doctor.

“A stent is a wire mesh stainless steel tube that becomes a permanent part of your artery,” Aldrich said.

Before the procedure, a nurse must inject a dye designed to make the blood flow visible on monitors to find the site of the blockage. A doctor will then move a “balloon catheter” to the target area, inflate it to stretch the artery walls and insert the tube, Aldrich said.

“The Cardiovascular Care Unit nursing staff gave me excellent care,” Bateman said.

Bateman said he is not overweight. But Aldrich said blockages and cholesterol issues can happen to thin patients too, because of genetics. Aldrich said smokers are at higher risk. The American Heart Association’s “Know Your Health Numbers” program suggests patients monitor their blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and weight.

“I exercise regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” Bateman said. “I jog with my son Austin every morning.”

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