Like many elderly people, Hui Kee-ying, 67, and Tsui Kam-tim, 74, were opposed to surgery until they experienced the new technique. Ms Hui had had heart valve disease for eight years. It led to problems with her lungs, making it difficult to breathe, and her body swelled up painfully. 'I was old and thought it would soon be time to leave the world. So why should I have to suffer the cuts and extra pain?' she said. Her decision to consent to surgery was made with death hanging over her and amid strong persuasion from her family. The operation was performed in March and left a 10-centimetre scar on her chest. Now she can go shopping and has changed her mind about surgery. 'It was not as painful as I had imagined and I feel so much better now,' Ms Hui said. Mr Tsui, a coronary artery disease patient for 20 years, is already out and about doing moderate hiking and morning exercises since surgery last month. Doctors used a vein from his left arm to replace the main vein to the heart. 'The surgery only took about four hours and I only stayed in the hospital bed for a week,' said Mr Tsui. 'Now I feel younger.' For Ellen Yu Pui-yin, 23, a significant part of the surgery was the small scar it left - 'Just a few stitches on my chest,' she said. She was back at work after just two weeks' rest.