Healthwatch 16: Geisinger Heart and Vascular Center

SCRANTON, Pa. -- A man from Susquehanna County is ready to get back to planning his beautiful flower garden after a surgery last month that may have saved his legs.

His next doctor's appointment will be in a new heart and vascular center that is set to open in a few days in Scranton.

It's snowy and cold now here in Thompson in Susquehanna County, but the Lambertsons showed us what this place looks like in the summertime: completely in bloom.

June's a photographer. She and Dick are in the daylily business, hybridizing the flower, starting the seeds, and selling them come July.

About three years ago, Dick started having trouble with his left leg.

"Come to find out there was a blockage in my artery in my leg," he said.

And before long, he noticed a problem in his right leg, too.

"That leg just turned very cold, painful, and I knew there was something wrong there."

A scan of his abdominal aorta, or the largest artery in the abdomen, showed a blockage.

Vascular surgeon Dr. Steven Busuttil says Dick could have been at risk of losing his legs.

"He couldn't walk and do his activities to take care of his farm," said Dr. Steven Busuttil.

And at age 79, he underwent surgery to replace his aorta, and restore the blood flow.

"He took care of himself and did all the right things to optimize his health."

Dick is an example of a patient who will now be treated at Geisinger Community Medical Center's new heart and vascular center, where a ceremony was held Wednesday.

This $4 million, 10,000-square-foot space merges Geisinger cardiac and vascular offices that used to be elsewhere, off campus.

"We realized that by having some of our specialists scattered around the area, rather than centralized, we were making it harder for patients than it needed to be," said Dr. Alfred Casale, chair of Geisinger Heart Institute.

52 staff members, 16 to 18 doctors, and as many advanced practitioners will now call this space home.

As will some of June Lambertson's work. One of her photographs hangs here.

Now that his legs are back, she and Dick have warmer weather on their minds.

"I'm just glad it's over," he said. "Now, I can get prepared for next summer."

1 Comment

  • Todd Noss

    THEN HOW COME MY DOCTOR FROM GEISINGER TOLD ME THAT HE DIDN’T WANT TO SEE ME UNLESS I CAN’T WALK ANYMORE,…… I HAD SURGERY ON MY LEGS FOR THE SAME THING AND TWO MONTH’S AFTER THE SURGERY , I WAS BLOCKED UP AGAIN, AFTER PUTTING AN ARTIFICIAL VEIN IN MY LEG, THAT WHEN I LOOKED IT UP ON THE INTERNET HAD A BIG FAILURE RATE, BUT DIDN’T KNOW THIS BEFORE THE SURGERY…….NOW I HAVE LOST A BIG AMOUNT OF FEELING IN MY LEFT LEG……..STILL BLOCKED……….IT’S BEEN TWO YEARS SINCE THE SURGERY……..

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