Healthbeat: Revascularization treatment helps cardiac patient not fit for heart surgery


SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Technology has evolved so greatly in recent decades to give heart patients so much hope. But what happens if you’re too ill to undergo traditional procedures that typically have successful outcomes?

That’s what a Lackawanna County man faced when he came for treatment at Geisinger Scranton CMC. But his cardiologist found a way to restore that hope and save the patient’s life.

A multi-vessel revascularization is the reason 76-year-old Richard Gannon of Clarks Summit is with us today. When he suffered a heart attack in 2018, Gannon was too unwell to undergo a traditional stent procedure to clear blockages in his arteries. 

Hiller asks: “What were you experiencing after the heart attack?” 

Gannon answers: “Tiredness, just all-around laziness, not being able to focus.”

“His heart was as sick as a heart can get. He was unable to actually generate any sort of a blood pressure. His blood pressure was always extremely, extremely low to the point where he couldn’t tolerate any cardiac medication,” explained Dr. Nicholas Ierovante, Interventional Cardiologist, Geisinger.

Gannon required dialysis several times a week to stay alive. But Dr. Ierovante didn’t give up hope. He performed a minimally invasive procedure which hundreds of thousands of Americans successfully undergo each year.

“We ended up doing what we call multi-vessel high-risk percutaneous intervention or stenting on two of his arteries,” said Dr. Ierovante. “And we had to use something called a left ventricular assist device which is a pump that goes in his heart and was able to do the work of his heart while we fix the coronary arteries.”

With those blockages cleared, Gannon’s heart pumping function improved so well he is now able to take heart medication and experience a better quality of life.

“I’m living my life and my spirit is good. I have a good support system with people around me and every day is just another day and I enjoy it,” said Gannon.

Gannon is also a double amputee who has an undeniable spirit to keep him going. It’s estimated 700,000 Americans undergo revascularization each year — a quarter of them have diabetes.

Mark Hiller Eyewitness News

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