clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dallas Stars Rich Peverley Has Successful Heart Surgery Following Last Week's Collapse on Bench

The procedure addressed the underlying atrial fibrillation problem that Peverley had been dealing with all season before the incident against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In the wake of the cardiac event that led to Rich Peverley's collapse on the bench, the Dallas Stars winger has undergone successful surgery to address the underlying heart problem.

Peverley had the procedure Tuesday at the Cleveland Clinic, which has a branch near his offseason home in Toronto.

Here is the official statement from Stars general manager Jim Nill:

"Rich Peverley underwent successful surgery to correct an abnormal heart rhythm at the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday, March 18. He is currently in normal sinus rhythm. He was released from the Cleveland Clinic today and is expected to return to Dallas tomorrow. He will be monitored closely and may require further treatment. There is no decision being made at this time on his ability to return to hockey participation."

While the surgery was not specified in this release, the doctors at last week's news conference indicated the procedure would be a cardiac ablation, where the misfiring portion of the heart muscle is isolated so it cannot pass those bad rhythms onto the rest of the heart.

All the information you ever wanted to know on both the procedure and atrial fibrillation itself can be found on the Cleveland Clinic page, with specific references located both here and here.

As far as what this means for his future in hockey, the best answer anyone can give right now is they don't know. He is under contract for next season.

Most, but certainly not all, ablations are successful at eliminating the arrhythmia on the first surgery with a whole bunch of potential complicating factor to those success rates. In many cases where the arrhythmia recurs, a second procedure is enough to fix the problem for at least the short term (twelve months without a recurrence while not on antiarrhythmatic medicines). But does that give doctors enough confidence that he can return to a highly anaerobic sport like hockey without incurring any risk? Only people who have paid a lot more money for their degrees than I did are qualified to make that decision.

The recovery time from ablations appears to be in the ballpark of three months, time that allows the heart muscle to heal as well as the risk of blood clots from the procedure or anything else to pass. Even at that time, a decision on what lies ahead for Peverley will still require a lot of careful testing.

For the moment, this is the best possible news. The underlying problem that led to the terrifying scene early last week has been corrected, and Peverley is recovering well.