TAMPA — Whenever an individual is coping with discomfort in their heart, the issue has the potential to be serious. In Yankees manager Aaron Boone's case, surgery to install a pacemaker this week is nothing to worry about.
Dr. Larry Chinitz, cardiac electrophysiologist and Director of the Heart Rhythm Center at NYU Langone Health, assured on Wednesday that Boone's procedure is completely safe and won't have any negative long-term impact on his health.
"Most patients, depending on their underlying condition, return to a completely normal life with no restrictions," Chinitz told Inside The Pinstripes in a phone interview. "I think there's no anticipation that Aaron will have any problems returning to work within a day or two and functioning quite normal. I mean, he may not be able to pitch for the team but he certainly can do his job."
Since it was announced that Boone needed the surgery and would be placed on a brief medical leave of absence, New York revealed that Boone's surgery went "as expected."
Chinitz walked through the procedure, explaining that the aim of a pacemaker is to re-establish normal heart rates and normal responses to exercise. A small incision is made in the upper chest, allowing for the pacemaker (which is effectively a battery) to be put in place, connected to wires. Those wires are threaded through a vein that connects to the heart, a simple process that has been perfected over the last six decades.
"Technology has become so spectacular that you really can resume normal stuff and normal physiology very easily," Chinitz explained. "This should not in any way affect his longevity. The anticipation is that his life will be normal with really zero restrictions."
In his statement, Boone mentioned that he had been experiencing low energy and shortness of breath, among other symptoms. The skipper underwent open-heart surgery back in 2009, an early indication that this would be something he would have to monitor going forward.
As for whether or not Boone will be able to manage a full 162-game schedule this year, traveling to games across the country while working long hours fresh off this procedure, Chinitz reiterated that Boone should be totally fine to carry on as he normally would have.
"This is not something that's like he has a heart muscle problem or an artery problem or had a heart attack," he said. "He's really just reestablishing normal electrical conduction which usually just corrects the problem and patients do well now I just want to say that I don't know all the details. So, there may be something more complex about him than I know, but I doubt it. Given what I do know, I would have full anticipation that there is no limitations on him or his longevity or his activities."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke to the media on Wednesday, articulating that Boone could rejoin the club as soon as 48 hours after the surgery if all goes well. Boone stayed at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa overnight as he rests and recuperates, the team announced.
Chinitz concluded that while he wouldn't encourage anyone (regardless of their physical condition) to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic—saying that "we're still at risk and people have to be cautious"—the coronavirus won't have any sort of different impact on Boone.
"I don't think that the implantation of this device will increase his personal susceptibility to a problem," he said.
- Yankees' Corey Kluber Shines in Perfect Spring Training Debut
- How Miguel Andújar Is Staying Ready For an Opportunity With the Yankees
- Yankees' Excitement With Nick Nelson Continues to Grow