Vim & Vigor - Summer 2011 - Community Healthcare - (Page 52)

Spotlight on St. Catherine hoSpital This team doesn’t skip a beat Heart on the Mend A By elise sims A TeAm-efforT Surgery Coronary-artery bypass grafting, or CABG surgery, restores normal blood supply to the heart by creating new routes for blood to flow when one or more of the coronary arteries are blocked. These new routes are made when blood vessels are removed from another part of the body (most often veins in the leg) and grafted to the heart to “bypass” the clogged arteries. Traditionally, this surgery is performed while the heart is stopped and a cardiopulmonary machine is used to keep the patient’s blood circulating and lungs breathing. “This type of surgery is a complete team effort,” Blakeman says. “For the best outcome, you need to have all these processes in line … a team of anesthesiologists, a surgeon, nurses and rehabilitation and support people. I think Community Healthcare System has done a wonderful job getting these key people together. That doesn’t happen by accident. It’s done in the spirit of what’s best for our patients.” CABG is the standard of care for patients, like Vasquez, who have left-main or three-vessel coronary disease, Blakeman says. Patients undergoing coronary bypass also have reduced risk of having a repeat procedure for further blockage, he says. When the bypass procedure is combined with a median sternotomy (without cutting the pericardium, the thin sac that encloses the heart) to open the chest, the healing is quicker, there is a lower chance of infection and less pain, and it is best for the patients, Blakeman says. Coronary arterial disease, or CAD, is the most common cause of death in the United States. It occurs when the heart arteries become narrowed by cholesterol or plaque to about half their normal diameter. t 59 years of age, East Chicago resident Fred Vasquez had never had a major surgery. So it’s not hard to imagine the surprise he felt when his doctors told him he needed heart bypass surgery. “It was a shock to learn I needed open heart surgery, but I’m feeling good now,” Vasquez says. “I’m a lot more active; I’m doing a lot more, too. Thanks to the people at St. Catherine Hospital—the cardiologists, surgeons, ICU staff and cardiac rehab team—who cared enough to give me a better quality of life.” Following a routine physical and visit to his doctor, Vasquez had test after test—EKG, stress test, angiogram—over a two-month period. After the angiogram, Vasquez was told he needed a triple bypass surgery to clear his arteries, which had 70 percent blockage. “I’m very thankful to Dr. Blakeman,” he says. “He really cares. He treated me well.” According to Bradford Blakeman, M.D., director of cardiovascular surgery at St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, although Vasquez failed the stress test, he had a good heart function and was a good candidate for bypass surgery. “Today, open heart bypass is most effective in the treatment of coronary Cardiothoracic surgeon disease,” Blakeman says. “Our patients Bradford Blakeman says open heart bypass is most effective are getting a better quality of life in the treatment of coronary and longevity—more so than with any disease. “It’s a complete team other procedure. It makes any other effort that’s done in the treatments that we offer [medications, spirit of what’s best for our patients,” he says. stents] better.” 52 Vim & Vigor • SUM M ER 2 011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Summer 2011 - Community Healthcare

Vim & Vigor - Summer 2011 - Community Healthcare
Community Message
When Stroke Strikes, Seconds Count
Rays of Hope Fight Cancer
Girl Talk
Say What?
Action Plan
Like This? Try That!
Being George Clooney
A Day in the Life of Your Heart
Unexpected Heroes
Get in Gear
A Real Lifesaver
A Real Lifesaver
Spotlight on Community Hospital
Spotlight on St. Catherine Hospital
Spotlight on St. Mary Medical Center
A Safer Hospital Stay

Vim & Vigor - Summer 2011 - Community Healthcare