Jefferson Angioplasty Center Provides Second Opinions for Docs, Second Chances for Patients

Dr. Savage examining Mr. Kacprowicz

Dr. Savage examining Mr. Kacprowicz

When Richard Kacprowicz, an educator from New Jersey, survived his first heart attack doctors at the hospital in New Jersey said the next step was open heart surgery to unblock multiple arteries. But his primary care physician urged him to get a second opinion from experts at the Jefferson Heart Institute.

Mr. Kacprowicz transferred to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Center City, where a team of experts presented a minimally-invasive approach – angioplasty. The team was led by Michael Savage, MD, interventional cardiologist and the Ralph J. Roberts Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine.

“Dr. Savage believed he could fix it.” said Mr. Kacprowicz. Mr. Kacprowicz was reassured that if angioplasty proved unsuccessful, the open heart team would be on stand-by to perform the bypass surgery. Fortunately, Dr. Savage was able to re-open Mr. Kacprowicz’s arteries, saving him an open heart operation.

Many years later, Mr. Kacprowicz suffered a second heart attack. A cardiac catheterization at a local hospital in New Jersey showed a 100 percent blockage of his right coronary artery and an attempt to reopen the artery with angioplasty was unsuccessful. Open heart surgery was recommended.

Again, Mr. Kacprowicz sought out a second opinion from the experts at Jefferson where Dr. Savage and his team were able to successfully reopen his totally-occluded artery with a drug-eluting stent.

“The Jefferson Angioplasty Center was designed to be a regional resource for patients like

Mr. Kacprowicz.” said Dr. Savage, Director of the Jefferson Angioplasty Center. “We see many patients in need of a second opinion because they have complex cardiac disease and are told angioplasty and stents are not an option or high risk. Before undertaking open heart surgery, we encourage patients and referring physicians to explore all available options.”

Steve Swartz, M.D., practices medicine in Monmouth County, New Jersey and has referred patients to Jefferson for heart and vascular care.

“I’ve had a number of patients who have been told they need bypass,” said Dr. Swartz. “Mike Savage and his team have done very complex angioplasty and have had wonderful results. They will take on cases that are relatively impossible.”

Dr. Swartz trusts Jefferson with his patients’ heart care because of the professional and highly-skilled cardiology care given by the Jefferson Heart Institute and Angioplasty Center.

The Jefferson Angioplasty Center, the outpatient practice for Jefferson’s interventional cardiologists, is now co-located with the Vascular Center allowing for streamlined consultations and convenience, as the two specialties often see the same patients. Jefferson Angioplasty Center also offers imaging including echocardiograms and ultrasounds and a nurse practitioner streamlines the consultation process and navigate patients through pre-visit preparations.

“We want to make the second opinion process as seamless as possible for our patients,” said Annette Mitchell, CRNP, Jefferson Angioplasty Center. “Our goal is to obtain and review all of the records and films before the patient comes to their appointment. Then, when we meet the patient, we’ll be ready to discuss their treatment options and expedite the plan.”

Jefferson Angioplasty Center’s acknowledged experts are available to provide consultations to physicians and second opinions to patients with complex cardiac issues including coronary, structural, or valve heart diseases.

“We are a ready resource for physicians and their patients who may be considering heart surgery or other treatment options,” said Dr. Savage. “While many patients come to Jefferson for routine care, Jefferson’s interventional program is an ideal regional referral center for patients deemed high-risk, inoperable, or in need of a second opinion.”

To make an appointment with the specialists at Jefferson Angioplasty Center call 1-800-JEFF-NOW. To contact the Angioplasty Center directly call 215-955-2919.

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