Woman makes history after undergoing new cardiac procedure at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Not long ago, Barbara Bellin of Hartland was a woman with serious heart problems. Today, she is a medical pioneer; a celebrity appearing at her own news conference on Thursday, Aug. 26. 

"It's overwhelming," Bellin said. 

Bellin is 75 years old, and she recently became the first patient in Wisconsin to undergo a new cardiac procedure. Doctors at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center replaced her failing heart valve without open heart surgery. They went through a vein in her groin to reach the valve and replace it. 

You've probably heard of the term "minimally invasive," and that's exactly what this was. 

"Because we don't have to open the heart or go through the chest, the recovery is much faster. So the patient, instead of spending four, five days in the hospital, would spend maybe two days in the hospital," said Dr. Eric Weiss, cardiac surgeon at Aurora St. Luke's. 

"Actually, I did feel good right away... after," said Bellin. 

Dr. Weiss says the operation was a success and Bellin is doing very well. Only seven other patients in the whole country have undergone the procedure. 

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