staying powerNEWS AND NOTES

10,000 Hearts Healed

UHS cardiac surgeons reach milestone

The cardiothoracic surgical team at UHS Hospitals recently performed its 10,000th surgical heart procedure since the program began in March 1989. When it was launched 27 years ago, UHS’ open heart surgery program was the first one initiated in New York State since 1974. 

Leading the program from the beginning were M. Bashar Yousuf, MD, and J. Richard Cunningham, MD. Kenneth Wong, MD, joined the team in 1991. The types of procedures they perform include coronary artery bypass surgery, traditional and minimally invasive valve replacements, and ventricular septal defect repairs. Recently, in conjunction with cardiologist Alon Yarkoni, MD, and the UHS Cardiology team, UHS has introduced transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which provides a state-of-the-art alternative to traditional open chest valve replacements.

With nearly 90 years of combined cardiac surgical experience, the cardiac team is having an impact that cannot be measured in numbers alone. It can be seen as well in the improved quality of life of their patients, in second chances and in families’ hopes for the future.

“UHS and, in particular, our cardiac surgeons, would like to thank our patients — past, present and future — for their faith and support in our cardiac program and its supporting heart team,” Dr. Yousuf says.


Beyond the wide range of surgical procedures available, UHS also offers patients the latest in diagnostic catheterization, medical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation. In tandem with the heart program, UHS also is home to the region’s first designated trauma, stroke and chest pain centers.