BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – 67 year-old Alvin Lee thought he was going to the doctor for an eye checkup, unexpectedly he had open heart surgery.

“They did a stress test and said we would like to do surgery today,” Lee said. “It was alarming.”

After surgery, Baton Rouge General physicians introduced Lee to a new form of therapy, “Move in the Tube.”

BRG adopted Move in Tube from a therapist at Baylor University.

“It decreases the stress on the sternum while still allowing patients to use their arms,” said Jennifer Hluchy, occupational therapist at Baton Rouge General. “Now, our patients are leaving the hospital after four or day seven at the most after surgery.”

Move in the Tube allows heart surgery patients to imagine they are in an invisible tube and move their arms. With this method Lee was able to recover in two weeks.

Without the therapy, patients are unable to move their arms at full potential until 12 weeks.

“This has had a remarkable impact on how patients recovery from their surgery. Remarkable impact on how much pain medicine they use after survey. We know there is an narcotic epidemic, our patients are going home with just Tylenol,” said Antoine Keller, cardiac surgeon at Baton Rouge General.

Lee has been an athlete his entire life. He was afraid his surgery would put a stop to his passion for fitness, however he is back in the gym.

“I got my strength back and I feel good,” Lee said.

Lee went into surgery December of 2020 and is currently attending the cardiac rehab program at BRG.