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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014


Ed Dardanell Heart and Vascular Center at Forbes Regional Hospital Marks 500th Open Heart Surgery Milestone

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Monroeville, PA – (January 5, 2011) – 2010 has been an outstanding year for the Ed Dardanell Heart and Vascular Center at Forbes Hospital. This past year, it was designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Pittsburgh and the open heart program was rated one of the 50 best programs in the nation by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The Center recently reached another milestone this month when it performed its 500th open heart surgery. 

“We are extremely pleased to have reached this milestone and to be nationally recognized as a leading program for open heart surgery,” said Michael Culig, MD, Chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery at Forbes Hospital and Director of the Ed Dardanell Heart and Vascular Center. “We work everyday to continually improve the care that we provide to our patients.”

After living with pain for several years, Ricky Mauk of New Florence had successful open heart surgery at Forbes on December 16 and was already looking forward to being home with his family for Christmas.

Mr. Mauk underwent heart surgery 15 years ago. During that procedure, a portion of his rib was removed. In the time since then, his heart began to push through the opening in his rib cage, causing him extreme pain. “You could see my heart beating through my shirt,” Mr. Mauk said. “My heart had actually shifted in my chest.”

A truck driver, Mr. Mauk’s condition kept him from work and as the pain increased, he realized he had to seek treatment. That is when he was referred from another area hospital to the Ed Dardanell Heart and Vascular Center where Dr. Culig and Robert Keenan, MD, Director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery for the West Penn Allegheny Health System, and their team of experienced physicians, nurses, and support staff met with Mr. Mauk and his family to decide the best course of treatment. “With the expert assistance of Dr. Keenan, our surgical team repaired an aneurysm of the heart protruding through his chest wall,” said Dr. Culig. “We are not aware of any similar case during our 20 years of practice.”

Mr. Mauk said the results of his open heart procedure were instantaneous. “As soon as I woke up after the operation, I immediately noticed that the pain was gone,” he said. Despite the risk of his open heart procedure, Mr. Mauk said that he was not apprehensive and had confidence in his physicians and care team. “Everyone was very knowledgeable and took time to explain everything to me and my wife,” he said. “The care was so personable that I felt like I was at home.”

The Ed Dardanell Heart and Vascular Center at Forbes promotes a one-stop approach to cardiac surgery. Patients stay in the same room from the beginning of their stay through discharge. Patients, families, and staff have the opportunity to bond throughout the course of treatment, leading to an enhanced patient experience and greater staff and patient satisfaction.
In addition to open heart surgery, the Ed Dardanell Heart and Vascular Center offers a wide variety of comprehensive heart services such as cardiac catheterization and interventional cardiology and invasive peripheral vascular procedures including interventions.
The center also includes a cardiothoracic intensive care unit (CTICU), accredited stroke and chest pain centers, diagnostic testing (stress testing, echocardiography, EKGs), an electrophysiology (EP) lab, and a telemetry unit.

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