Investing in Life-Saving Heart Care

Lancaster General Health continually invests in its people and services to remain on the cutting edge of technology advancement, research and clinical practice in cardiovascular care for the Lancaster community. That commitment continues.

It used to be that patients facing end-stage heart failure had few options besides hospice care.

Technology has changed that, providing LG Health patients a temporary fix as a bridge to transplantation or a permanent, life-sustaining solution.

George Maxwell, pictured above, was the first patient at Lancaster General Hospital to receive a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) as a permanent solution for heart failure. Read about his journey »

Two innovative tools address weaknesses in the heart’s left ventricle, the larger one responsible for receiving oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumping it out to the rest of the body.

An LVAD, or left-ventricle assist device, is an artificial pump that helps the weakened muscle function properly. It’s implanted during open-heart surgery, regulated by external batteries, a control unit and a cable that enters the body through a small hole in the abdomen.

These devices have been refined to be smaller, more efficient and more durable than when they first came on the market, allowing patients to return home and resume life with a few restrictions.

Investments in two technologies at LG Health enable cardiac surgeons and cardiologists to offer life-saving options for complex heart patients in our community.

For some patients with heart-valve issues, technology means that treatment is now far less invasive—and much more promising.

Working together in a hybrid operating room at Lancaster General Hospital, LG Health clinicians tackle complex procedures such as TAVR, a pioneering treatment for aortic stenosis. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement doesn’t require a chest-splitting operation, making it a viable solution for patients who might be too old or too compromised for other care.

These tools and techniques—along with our use of the robot-assisted da Vinci Surgical System—reduce treatment time and provide faster recovery.

Just as critical to successful treatments is the nationally and internationally recognized team of cardiologists, vascular surgeons, cardiac surgeons, interventional radiologists and other specialists assembled right here in Lancaster.

“We, the heart surgeons and the cardiologists, can stand shoulder to shoulder and bring the best of what we both have to offer for the good of the patient through less invasive means and through state-of-the-art technology,” says Dr. Jeff Cope, Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Surgery.

Their success means patients have more time to cement their own legacies.

Michael Trinkley of Lancaster shares an amazing journey that led from initial care at Lancaster General Health's Heart & Vascular Institute to a transplant at Penn Medicine’s Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.