Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hoiberg's 5-Hour Heart Procedure Successful--'Went Without a Hitch'

The Minnesota Timberwolves said guard Fred Hoiberg underwent successful heart surgery this morning.

Hoiberg, a former Iowa State basketball player from Ames, had surgery to correct an enlarged aortic root.

Dr. Hartzell Schaff, a cardiac surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., performed the aortic root aneurysm repair surgery. The surgery corrected a bulge in the root where the artery meets the heart's aortic valve.

"Our thoughts and prayers for a complete recovery go out to Fred and his family at this time," said Timberwolves President Chris Wright.

"We are all looking forward to seeing him again at Target Center and will support him in whatever career decision he makes."

In 76 games last season, Hoiberg averaged 5.8 points [.489 field goal percentage], 2.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 16.7 minutes per game. He led the league in three-point accuracy, hitting a career-best and franchise-record 48.3 percent [70-for-145].

The 10-year veteran scored a season-high 15 points on Jan. 22 at Portland; while the Wolves went 24-6 when he netted 8+ points and 21-9 when he logged 20-plus minutes. Hoiberg committed just 20 turnovers last season, which amounted to a league-best ratio of one every 63.6 minutes.

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Hey, Fred, from a guy who covered you when you played at Iowa State--thanks to your doctors for a job well done. Everyone knew they wouldn't screw this job up on The Mayor. We all wish you a speedy recovery and hope you'll be back in a Timberwolves uniform soon].

MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Surgery went without a hitch

By Kent Youngblood
Star Tribune

At the end of a very long day, Dr. Sheldon Burns had some very good news. Burns, the Timberwolves and Lynx medical director, spent the day in Rochester, where Wolves guard Fred Hoiberg had heart surgery to correct an aortic root aneurysm.

Burns, who had helped Hoiberg from getting tests to diagnosing the problem to picking a surgeon to correct it, said the procedure took about five hours and went without a hitch.

"It went well," said Burns, who made it back to Target Center in time for the Lynx game. "By the time I left, he was still in [intensive care], but he was responding."

The surgery was performed by Dr. Hartzell Schaff, a cardiac surgeon at Mayo Clinic.

Burns and Hoiberg -- who spent a lot of time learning about his condition -- went to great lengths picking a surgeon. They even considered using a doctor in Germany. The biggest question was whether to replace the aortic valve.

Hoiberg was born with an abnormally shaped valve in his heart, a condition he has known about since college. It was the constant follow-up of that condition that ensured detection of the aneurysm.

Much of the preparation for surgery surrounded the decision of whether or not the valve needed to be replaced. Burns said he and Hoiberg read a lot of research published by a Canadian doctor before deciding the valve could be saved.