NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Staten Island man is lucky to be alive. He recently had surgery to remove a giant aneurysm from his heart.

Not only that, he was back playing golf within weeks after his surgery, CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported.

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Here’s something you pretty much never want to hear your doctor say.

“Oh my God. That’s is huge and we need to fix this as soon as possible. Get the patient right now to the ICU,” said Dr. Mohammed Iman, of Staten Island University Hospital.

That was his reaction to seeing the chest scan belonging to 75-year-old Charles Bennetti, who, despite have had a long ago heart attack, didn’t feel terrible.

“I went because I had a chest pain and I was getting dizzy,” Bennetti said.

It was due to a massive aneurysm in one of his coronary arteries, almost the size of a baseball.

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Charles Bennetti (Photo: CBS2)

While aneurysm repair surgery is fairly routine these days, when one grows to this size, surgery is extremely dangerous.

“It is a balloon which is constantly pulsating with each heartbeat. So, you gotta be very careful about manipulating it or not touching it too much, because if you try push it too hard, I mean, it can pop while you’re there,” Imam said.

That would mean almost certain death. But the surgery was successful, so much so that three and a half months later Bennetti is playing golf.

His luck dawned on him when doctors showed him pictures of his aneurysm during surgery.

“You gotta be kidding me,” he said.

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Aneurysms of this size are usually due to a defect in a collagen gene, which makes for weak connective tissue, so Bennetti will have to be checked for other aneurysms.

Dr. Max Gomez