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Cardiothoracic Surgery

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Contact Us at 845.368.8800 


Comprehensive, integrated cardiac care, close to home.

Why Good Samaritan?

People don’t realize what is being done here. This is not routine for a community hospital. We may not have the big name, but we have the skill and the team to do things just as well, if not better than larger institutions. The proof is in the outcomes. Most patients, when faced with the frightening thought of needing heart surgery may ask if they should go to a larger center instead. Our surgeons and team have worked at larger centers, have benefited from that experience, but can frankly tell you that they can do a better job here. Working with the same team every day is what makes all the difference. Additionally, our surgeons have privileges at our sponsoring institutions, Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth),and can easily arrange for surgery there for those occasional  patients that require services we don’t perform.


Caption:  Good Samaritan Hospital OR Team (Photo Credit:  George Pejoves Photography)

Good Samaritan Hospital patients enjoy the important benefit of knowing their case is managed by a unified cardiovascular team directing all aspects of care. This patient-first focus is top of mind every day, and makes coordination of care between primary physicians, cardiologists, surgeons and specialists seamless. Care protocols involve a full team of dedicated nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and allied health professionals who collaborate to provide the very best personalized, compassionate and comprehensive care.

Cardiovascular patients will find that choosing cardiac therapy close to the community they live in at the Active International Heart and Vascular Institute at Good Samaritan Hospital will make doctors’ visits, hospitalizations and follow-up appointments easier and less stressful – important factors that physicians recognize as key to patients’ successful healing and recovery.


Caption: The follow-up and preliminary office team located at 257 Lafayette Avenue, Suffern NY, Suite 330 provides compassionate and skilled care

Good Samaritan Hospital has a long history of successful cardiothoracic surgery and prides itself on staying up-to-date by performing the newest minimally invasive cardiac procedures.

When medication and catheter-based treatments cannot relieve symptoms, surgery remains the accepted treatment for a range of cardiothoracic conditions, including but not limited to mitral valve prolapsed, atrial septal defect and coronary artery disease.

Less invasive procedures are increasingly available for patients facing cardiothoracic surgery. Good Samaritan Hospital embraces state-of-the-art minimally invasive approaches with small keyhole incisions made between the ribs to perform coronary bypass or make repairs to the heart valve and other cardiac conditions. These procedures avoid all the other complications of standard open surgery.

Good Samaritan Hospital is the only hospital in Rockland and Orange counties to provide a dedicated cardiothoracic program and access to specialized surgeons. Our two board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons work closely with your cardiologist and primary physician to develop a personalized care strategy.


Caption:  Cardiothoracic Surgeons, Chirag Dilip Badami, MD FACS and Cary S. Passik, MD FACS follow up with recovering patient (Photo Credit:  George Pejoves Photography)

Our surgeons have national reputations and extensive backgrounds of practice, teaching and research in Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery. Cary S. Passik, MD FACS was the first surgeon in Connecticut to perform surgical ventricular restoration for congestive heart failure, and to use sutureless aortic valves. Additionally, he developed a bloodless heart-surgery program in which 85 percent of elective surgical patients did not require transfusions after surgery. Chirag Dilip Badami, MD FACS has over 15 years of experience and specializes in valvular heart disease, arrythmia and heart failure, coronary artery disease, and TAVR and endoscopic therapies.


We Are The Cardiac Experts In the Hudson Valley


Caption:  Large, state-of-the-art Cardiac Operating Room (Photo Credit:  George Pejoves Photography)

At Good Samaritan Hospital we diagnose and surgically restore, repair or replace heart and lung function using the latest technology. Our state-of-the-art technology allows our cardiothoracic surgeons to perform surgical interventions in innovative ways that offer patients such benefits as faster recovery time, less pain and shorter hospital stays.

Our cardiothoracic surgeons treat a variety of heart-and chest-related diseases including:

  • Minimally invasive aortic valve surgery
  • Minimally invasive mitral valve repair and replacement
  • Minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement – TAVR
  • Minimally invasive surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation
  • Aortic Aneurysm Surgery
  • Aortic Dissections
  • Coronary Artery Bypass grafting- off pump/on pump
  • Hybrid Revascularization
  • Laser Transmyocardial Revascularization(TMR)
  • Re-operative open heart surgery
  • Diseases of the Pericardium
  • Bicuspid Aortic Valve disease
  • Marphan’s Syndromeic and aortic connective tissue disease
  • Endovascular ahoracic aneurysm stenting
  • Adult congenital heart disease
  • Pediatric cardiac surgery
  • Cardiac trauma
  • Heart failure surgery
  • Ventricular reconstruction surgery

Recovering patients benefit from our comprehensive monitoring network which closely observes heart and lung functions to ensure a successful recuperation.  Our program offers a cutting-edge Cardiac ICU for patients to recover safely and comfortably.  


Caption: Good Samaritan Cardiac ICU unit and team (Photo Credit:  George Pejoves Photography)

 

 


Most Advanced Cardiac Procedures in Rockland, Orange and Northern New Jersey Counties 


Caption:  Good Samaritan Hospital Cardiac OR Team (Photo Credit:  George Pejoves Photography)

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery:  On and Off Pump

Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is perhaps the best-known type of cardiac surgery. Using portions or grafts of a patient’s own veins or arteries, surgeons provide a new source of blood flow around blocked coronary arteries. In on-pump bypass surgery, the surgeon opens the patient’s chest, stops the patient’s heart, and places the patient on a heart-lung machine while the operation takes place. In the newer, minimal access, off-pump procedures, surgeons are able to operate directly on the beating heart.

Valve Repair/Replacement Surgery

Good Samaritan cardiothoracic surgeons are highly skilled at repairing blocked or leaking heart valves. Our first choice is always to preserve native valve, but when a patient’s heart valve is too badly damaged, we use mechanical or tissue prostheses (including the implantation of human donor tissue). Our surgeons are skilled at minimally invasive valve repair techniques that involve two- to three-inch incisions rather than a major chest incision. For patients, such minimally invasive approaches offer reduced risk of infection, faster recovery times and less blood loss.

Atrial Fibrillation Surgery

Atrial fibrillation is a common but abnormal heart rhythm that can lead to rapid, irregular heartbeats. These heartbeats can cause discomfort, dizziness and shortness of breath. Left untreated, patients are at greatly increased risk for stroke.

While some patients can be treated with medications or catheter procedures, others are resistant to these interventions. Good Samaritan Hospital’s cardiothoracic surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery with small incisions to direct radiofrequency waves (modified electrical energy) on the surface of the heart, creating precise scar lines to block the erratic electrical impulses causing the irregular heartbeat.


Hear From Our Experts 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn More  


Caption:  Cary Passik, MD, FACS, Cardiothoracic Surgeon speaks with recovering patient (Photo Credit:  George Pejoves Photography)

In addition to our own website, there are other sites that provide interesting and helpful cardiac health information.

Because we are committed to improving the cardiothoracic healthcare knowledge of our patients, we are providing the following selection of links to other sites you might find interesting and informative.

See actual cases of other patients dealing with similar cardiac issues:

Edwards.com Patient Information

CTSurgeryPatients.org Adult Heart Disease Patients


Hear from Our Patients 

Testimonial 1:  Jordan Brandeis

Jordan Brandeis, 71, from New City, NY loves to stay active. He and his wife frequent their local gym five days a week, so when he was feeling some discomfort in his upper chest he did not immediately think it was a heart condition.

“I work out and I eat healthy, plus I wasn’t experiencing any of the traditional symptoms of a heart attack, like sharp pains or soreness in my arm. Thankfully, the discomfort I was feeling was strong enough that we went to the hospital on December 17, 2018,” said Brandeis.

As soon as Brandeis and his wife Libby arrived at the Emergency Department at Good Samaritan Hospital they were rushed in to see the doctor who quickly assessed the situation and called for a cardiology consult. Through an angiogram, cardiologist Andrew Shih, MD, FACC, determined that Brandeis had four complete blockages in his arteries and had suffered a heart attack. He was unable to repair the damage with stents; open heart surgery was the only option to keep the heart functioning.

“I had specifically chosen a cardiologist in Manhattan so if I ever needed heart surgery I could have it done at Lenox Hill or Columbia, and now it became clear that wasn’t an option. I had never thought I would have just minutes to make this decision,” said Brandeis.

The life-saving balloon pump Dr. Shih implanted as a temporary solution made it very dangerous to transport Brandeis. It was also a risk for him to delay the surgery anymore by traveling into the city. He and his wife immediately began researching the hospital, asking friends, family and the staff about Good Samaritan Hospital’s cardiology program.

“No one had a negative thing to say about [the cardiothoracic program] at Good Samaritan Hospital. My wife’s nephew is a doctor, and he said that the fact that we got to meet and speak to the doctors who would actually be performing the surgery was a huge plus. We would know for sure that it wasn’t someone who was learning on the job on my heart,” said Brandeis.

Cardiothoracic surgeons, Chirag Badami, MD, FACS and Cary Passik, MD, FACS both came to speak with Brandeis and his wife to explain the details of the quadruple bypass, and answer any questions to alleviate their anxiety.

“It came down to trust. I decided to stay and have the surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital because I trusted the doctors after speaking with them. They were very knowledgeable and experienced and had a great bedside manner. I felt confident in them and in my decision to stay in Rockland for my surgery,” said Brandeis.

The surgery was very successful and after five days in cardiac recovery, Brandeis was able to return home.

“We were delighted with everything at the hospital from the Emergency Department, to the pre-operation care, my doctors and nurses, the staff that took care of me in recovery. Everyone was professional and kind. They treated my wife with respect and care. The facilities and the recovery room were phenomenal and the convenience was so helpful.” Brandeis was so impressed with his treatment, he decided to continue his follow-up care with Dr. Shih rather than travel back into Manhattan for his cardiology appointments.

“I firmly believe it was the fast action of the whole staff at Good Samaritan Hospital that saved my life – if I left the hospital I wouldn’t have made it. I realized that you can get the same level of care right here in Rockland, and you don’t need to travel. You don’t always have that choice and it is good to know life-saving care is right here.”

Testimonial 2:  Michael Weisgarber 

A Precise, Unexpected Diagnosis Makes A Life-Saving Difference

Surgeons at Good Samaritan Hospital treat a dangerous heart condition called aortic dissection in the nick of time.

By David Levine

Michael Weisgarber, a special-education teacher at Orange Ulster BOCES, had just finished teaching summer school and was looking forward to his two-week vacation.

But, at his Suffern home on Sunday, August 12, 2018, he felt a pain in his chest that quickly escalated. “I could tell it was more than just heartburn,” says Weisgarber, 51. He had trouble catching his breath and experienced pain and weakness in his legs.

A neighbor drove him to Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), a few miles away. Quick evaluation in the Emergency Department, including a CT scan, revealed he was not having a heart attack but was instead suffering from an aortic dissection, a rare and even more life-threatening problem that requires immediate surgery.

Luckily, cardiothoracic surgeon Chirag Badami, MD, was working that Sunday. He knew how serious the situation was.

Dr. Badami called his colleague, cardiothoracic surgeon Cary Passik, MD, to come in on his day off because this complex operation required the expertise of more than one surgeon. (He also called his wife. “It was her birthday, and I told her I couldn’t take her out to dinner,” Dr. Badami says.)

An aortic dissection occurs when a tear forms in the inner layer of the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body. As blood flows through the tear, it causes the layers of the aorta to separate, or dissect, and fill with blood. The resulting obstruction can block blood vessels and blood flow in and out of the heart, as well as cause blood leakage that can lead to shock. If this channel bursts, it can cause quick and fatal blood loss.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, aortic dissection occurs in about two out of every 10,000 people. “It’s not terribly common,” Dr. Passik says. “The problem is that mortality without an emergency operation goes up about 1 percent per hour for the first 48 hours, so there is a need to get going as quickly as possible.”

Weisgarber’s situation, however, was complicated. When his aorta split, Dr. Passik explains, blood flow to his lower body was affected. This caused Weisgarber’s leg pain and weakness. If repairing the dissection did not restore blood flow to his legs, he would need more surgery.

During the procedure, his chest was opened, and his body was supported by the heart-lung machine. Utilizing a technique known as deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, Weisgarber’s body temperature was lowered to about 65°F, so that his brain and other organs could safely withstand a lack of blood flow for up to 30 minutes while the diseased, torn section of the aorta was replaced with a synthetic graft. “The patient actually has no vital signs during this portion of the operation,” Dr. Passik says. In Weisgarber’s case, it took just 14 minutes before he was back on the heart-lung machine.

Weisgarber handled the six-hour surgery without a problem, and blood flow returned to his lower extremities. He woke in the ICU that same day, was up and walking the next day and was discharged five days later. 

He slowly built his stamina and strength by walking. “In a few months, I may be able to run and lift things, but not yet,” he said in October. But he can drive and hopes to return to work soon. Risk factors for aortic dissection include uncontrolled high blood pressure, a genetic predisposition like Marfan’s disease, a preexisting aortic aneurysm, drug use that leads to high blood pressure, and heavy weightlifting, among others. None of these applied in Weisgarber’s case, and there was no family history of heart disease. So, the cause of his rupture is ultimately unknown but presumed to be genetic.

“Luckily, he came in as soon as he didn’t feel well,” Dr. Badami says, though he does advise anyone who thinks they may be having a heart attack to call 911.

“The cardiac surgical group at Good Samaritan Hospital has over 40 years of combined experience. We knew our team could handle it,” Dr. Passik says. “We have the capability to do complex procedures here. You don’t need to go down to the city. For the most part, people don’t have to look any further than this hospital for their cardiovascular care.”

Weisbarger concurs.

“How lucky for me that you can walk into a hospital on Sunday and a cardiothoracic surgeon is right there to say, ‘We have to take care of this right now,’” he says. “I got outstanding care at Good Sam. The doctors and nurses, the whole staff, were instrumental in getting me on my feet, out the door and back home.”

 To learn more about cardiothoracic surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital, call 845.368.8800.

Photo By John Halpern

Badami, Chirag D.
Cardiothoracic Surgery
Passik, Cary S.
Cardiothoracic Surgery