Celebrating a Decade of Heart-Saving Surgery

The Cardiac Surgery program at Henry Ford Allegiance Health brought open-heart surgery services to the greater Jackson area in 2008, making it possible for residents to have life-saving procedures without traveling 30 to 45 minutes. Our exceptional cardiothoracic surgeons Mahender Macha, MD, and Vincent Simonetti, MD, have been with us since the beginning, performing the first open-heart surgery at our Heart & Vascular Center for Del Sparks of Summit Township. (Mr. Sparks, who was 76 at the time of surgery in 2008, passed away in 2017.)

Since the program opened, our cardiac surgeons have performed 1,680 open-heart procedures, including coronary artery bypass grafts and heart valve repairs and replacements. Dr. Macha and Dr. Simonetti remain committed to providing the highest level of cardiac surgery for the communities we serve.

Now, in partnership with Henry Ford Health System, a Top 50 Heart Hospital and a pioneer in structural heart techniques, our Cardiac Surgery team has the added advantage of expanded technology, leading-edge clinical trials and access to life-saving protocols that have increased heart attack survival rates from 50 to 84 percent.

Dr. Macha and Dr. Simonetti are the first to point out that the success of our Cardiac Surgery program would not have been possible without the dedication and talent of their entire team, including advanced practice providers, nurses, surgical techs and support staff. Congratulations to the entire team on reaching their 10th Anniversary milestone. It’s exciting to imagine all we will be able to provide for heart patients over the next decade of service.

Learn more about heart care services at Henry Ford Allegiance Health.

Preventing Stroke from Carotid Artery Stenting

Carotid angioplasty is a commonly used, non-surgical procedure to clear blockages of plaque in one of the main arteries on either side of the neck (carotid arteries) and restore proper blood flow to the brain. It is usually performed to treat or prevent stroke. Once the blockage is cleared, a tiny mesh cage (stent) is typically inserted to keep the artery open and the blood flowing.

Fortunately, a less risky, minimally invasive procedure to clear the carotid arteries was introduced at Henry Ford Allegiance Health by vascular surgeon Jordan Knepper, MD, Medical Director for Cardiovascular Services and Vascular Surgery.  Dr. Knepper was the first in south-central Michigan to perform transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR).

TCAR is similar to carotid angioplasty in the way it opens blockages and places stents. The main advantage of TCAR is that it uses an advanced technology called a transcarotid neuro-protection system, or NPS, which reverses blood flow to protect the brain from loosened particles, therefore preventing stroke. Performed through a small incision just above the collar bone, TCAR causes the patient minimal discomfort, with a faster recovery and fewer complication risks than traditional surgery.

Learn more about vascular surgery services at Henry Ford Allegiance Health.