She had no symptoms, but for two years Jenkintown resident Katherine S. carried on with her life knowing that someday she was probably going to have one of her carotid arteries cleaned out in order to reduce her chances of suffering a stroke. Her family doctor originally discovered the potential problem during a routine physical—a diagnosis that was confirmed by ultrasound.
Then, this past spring, after another ultrasound showed the artery was more than 80 percent blocked. Schaefer was immediately referred to Andrew B. Roberts, MD, a Temple vascular surgeon whose specialties include carotid endarterectomies.
Before she retired, the 69-year- old Schaeffer had spent 15 years as a School District of Philadelphia nurse. But prior to that, the registered nurse had worked in the delivery room at Jeanes Hospital. "It's very convenient, because it's only a mile from my house," she says, "and I knew from working there that they provide good nursing care and the doctors are good."
That was certainly true of Dr. Roberts, who performed the procedure on her in late April. "I love Dr. Roberts," she says. "I think highly of him professionally. He's obviously quite skilled at what he does. And he's a real gentleman with a really wonderful bedside manner. He has it all."
After staying overnight in the hospital for observation, she experienced no complications and was discharged to go home the following day. "I remember feeling a little tired but I did make dinner for my husband Paul," she recalls.
With the peace of mind that comes with knowing such a critical procedure went well, Schaefer has fully resumed her active lifestyle.
"I've felt fine ever since the procedure," she reports. "I'm doing quite well."