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Quality & outcomes in cardiac surgery

Do all cardiac surgery programs have the same quality outcomes? This is an important question all consumers must ask themselves if they or their loved ones must undergo an operation on their heart. Heart surgery has become increasingly common in recent years. Earlier awareness on the part of physicians and patients, advanced diagnostic testing and an increasing aging population with the inherent prevalence of heart disease has led to this surge in cases. Additionally, cardiac surgical teams are now operating on patients with multiple medical problems and doing more complex operations. Even with these factors, outcomes for patients continue to be optimal at centers of excellence.

But for today’s consumer, how does one choose where to have heart surgery? There are numerous choices both locally and nationally for all metropolitan areas. The consumer must ask: how do I know I am going to get the best of care? Should I go to a center with a “national” reputation? Is it just the doctor that makes the difference or does it involve the entire team caring for me: cardiologists, cardiac anesthesiologists, physician assistants, ICU nursing and intensivists (doctors specialized in the care of the ICU patient), OR staff, etc.? All of these questions must be asked before considering such an important operation at any hospital by any surgical team.

One of the best yardsticks for outcomes to help patients choosing where to have their surgery is ...

Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Patient Featured in Fortune Magazine Article on Robotic-Assisted Surgery

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SEATTLE, Jan. 22, 2013 - Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute cardiothoracic surgeon Eric Lehr, M.D., and one of his patients were interviewed for an article on robotic-assisted surgery that appears in the Feb. 11 issue of Fortune magazine.

Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute Electrophysiologist Interviewed for KING 5 TV Story on LifeVest

SEATTLE, March 30, 2012 - Seattle NBC affiliate KING Television (Channel 5) aired a story during their 5 p.m. PT newscast tonight about a relatively new, FDA-approved medical device called LifeVest ®. The wearable defibrillator is a treatment option for sudden cardiac arrest that offers patients advanced protection and monitoring as well as improved quality of life.

LifeVest is the first wearable defibrillator. Unlike an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), the LifeVest is worn outside the body rather than implanted in the chest. This device continuously monitors the patient's heart with dry, non-adhesive sensing electrodes to detect life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms. If a life-threatening rhythm is detected, the device alerts the patient prior to delivering a treatment shock, and thus allows a conscious patient to delay the treatment shock. If the patient becomes unconscious, the device releases a Blue™ gel over the therapy electrodes and delivers an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm.

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