Victor Skowronski was one weekend away from a triple bypass surgery. After experiencing chest pain, he was told that three of his arteries were blocked and the only way to fix it was a triple bypass surgery. When he called a colleague to let him know about his upcoming absence from work, he received some great advice – get a second opinion.
“I can’t emphasize enough the benefit of getting a second opinion,” Skowronski said. “At the age of 60, I was told by another area hospital I needed triple bypass surgery. One artery blockage, they said, was in a location too precarious for angioplasty. I, of course, fretted over the risk of such surgery. Fortunately, at the urging of my friend, I got that second opinion from Dr. Savage.”
Mr. Skowronski got some great news at that appointment. Michael Savage, MD, who is the Ralph J. Roberts Professor of Cardiology and Director of the Jefferson Angioplasty Center, was confident he could insert a stent not only into the other two blockages, one of which was more than 90 percent blocked, but also into the one deemed “too precarious.”
“I, of course, agreed to the angioplasty and was home the next day! Twelve years later and here I am, alive and well.”
Many of Dr. Savage’s patients come to him for a second opinion when open-heart surgery has been recommended.
“The Jefferson Angioplasty Center is 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 a regional referral center for patients deemed high-risk, inoperable, or in need of a second opinion. Many times that second opinion results in the patient being able to have an angioplasty rather than open heart surgery, as was the case with Mr. Skowronski.”
Skowronski said, “I hope the word gets out about the life-prolonging work being done at the Jefferson Angioplasty Center. I’m eternally grateful to Dr. Savage. He’s a very special doctor with a God-given skill.”