WHEN ED YESENCHAK NEEDED A LIFESAVING HEART OPERATION, HE DIDN’T HAVE TO GO FAR, THANKS TO A CARDIAC SURGERY PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN WASHINGTON HEALTH SYSTEM AND THE UPMC HEART AND VASCULAR INSTITUTE.
Last spring, Ed, a 62-year-old Canonsburg resident and instructor at Penn Commercial Business/Technical School, experienced some alarming symptoms while mowing his lawn.
“I felt a burning sensation in my chest,” Ed says. “When I stopped pushing the mower, it went away a bit, but eventually, it didn’t, and the pain increased.”
Ed’s wife, Lynn, a former nurse in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at WHS Washington Hospital who now works for Washington Physicians Group, took him for a stress test and a cardiac catheterization at WHS Washington Hospital. The results stunned her—five of Ed’s coronary arteries were blocked.
“I’d seen images of diseased arteries many times before, but it was different seeing my husband’s,” Lynn says. “One of Ed’s arteries was completely blocked along its entire length.”
A HEART-STOPPING SAVE
Physicians admitted Ed to WHS Washington Hospital and monitored him closely. Claudio A.B. Lima, MD, FACS, STS, a UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute Cardiothoracic Surgeon who
performs surgeries at WHS Washington Hospital, states, “When a patient like Ed has such severe coronary artery disease, he could have a heart attack anytime. As such, I operated the very next morning.”
To perform the quintuple bypass surgery, Dr. Lima stopped Ed’s heart and connected it to a heart-lung machine. He took arteries from the chest wall and veins from one of Ed’s legs to bypass the obstructed arteries and restore blood flow to the heart. After four days in the Intensive Care Unit, Ed returned home. Three months of cardiac rehabilitation at WHS Washington Hospital and changes to his diet—he and Lynn bought an air fryer—put him on a heart-healthy path.
“I feel wonderful,” Ed says. “It’s almost like nothing happened. Before the surgery, when I didn’t feel like golfing, I would shrug it off as just getting older, but now I’m more energetic.”