Stefan Struve Receives Approval From Doctor To Put Off Heart Surgery
Posted by Joseph Lee on 07.03.2014
It would have ended his career...
In an interview with MMA Junkie, UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve (25-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) revealed that he was cleared by a doctor to put off heart surgery that would have ended his career. He will fight Matt Mitrione (7-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) on Saturday at UFC 175. It airs on PPV at 10 PM ET from Las Vegas.
He was diagnosed eight months ago with bicuspid aortic valve, a congenital heart condition that can cause blood to leak back into the heart. He went undiagnosed for 25 years. His body was only getting 70% of the blood it needed. The rest of it was trapped, causing his heart enlarge and his blood pressure to increase. If it went untreated, he could have suffered heart failure.
Here are highlights of the interview:
On how he realized something was wrong: "The only thing I wanted to do was sleep."
On his reaction to putting off surgery: "We know it's getting better, but how long is my heart going to let me compete at this level? I'm not going to take risks with it. If (surgery is) the way we have to go, then that's the way we have to go. Right now, this makes me happy. But going in there knowing that something is not working properly … that would make the fun go away, you know what I mean?"
Cardiologist Dr. Scott Davis on his condition: "The fact that he has a good performance on his stress tests, (and) the degree of leaking of the valve doesn't look as bad, that bodes well. The flip side is there's nothing normal about the guy's aortic valve, and 26-year-olds just don't have leaky valves. Does it mean he's going to have a bad outcome in the ring? No. This just needs to be followed very closely."