October 17, 2022 — Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute announced the expansion of its nationally recognized thoracic surgery program to AHN Wexford Hospital, marking the full-service hospital’s most recent milestone in providing access to the highest level of care to patients living in communities north of Pittsburgh. The program launched under the clinical direction of AHN cardiothoracic surgeon, Hiran C. Fernando, MD.
“A leading thoracic surgery program at a community hospital is truly significant as it provides patients with easy access to highly-advanced surgical capabilities which diagnose, manage and treat a diverse set of conditions within the chest, lungs, esophagus and diaphragm,” said Dr. Fernando. “Our team of cardiothoracic specialists at AHN Wexford will collaborate closely across the Network with gastroenterology, pulmonary disease, medical and radiation oncology clinicians, among others, to design personalized treatment plans for patients.”
The AHN Center for Thoracic Surgery treats a wide array of conditions, including esophageal cancer, pulmonary disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, complex hernias, lung cancer and mesothelioma, among others. In particular, Dr. Fernando and his team specialize in video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, endoscopic and minimally invasive robotic surgical procedures for the lungs, mediastinum (area between the lungs) and esophagus, for which they have earned national recognition.
“Year after year, the AHN Center for Thoracic Surgery has received a three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for lung resection procedures, making it one of only 28 centers in the United States to receive this prestigious designation,” said Benny Weksler, MD, thoracic surgeon and System Chief of Thoracic Surgery at AHN. “Today’s expansion announcement is an exciting development for our team and we look forward to bringing our award-winning clinicians and diverse portfolio of advanced treatment options closer to home for patients who live in the communities north of Pittsburgh.”
In partnership with the AHN Cancer Institute, the AHN Center for Thoracic Surgery is a known leader in western Pennsylvania for bringing the latest technological advancements to cancer diagnosis and care, promoting earlier and easier detection. AHN was the first health system in the area to offer patients access to a less-invasive, specialized robotic lung biopsy system which help physicians diagnose cancer at its earliest stages, even in areas not usually accessible with traditional biopsy methods.
The Network was also the first in the region to offer revolutionary treatments for GERD and achalasia, a rare disorder that makes it difficult for food and liquid to pass into the stomach.
“The clinical advancements and robotic techniques brought to AHN Wexford by the thoracic surgery division will result in faster recovery times, less time spent in the hospital and minimized risks for patients,” said Allan Klapper, MD, president of AHN Wexford. “The introduction of these advanced surgical capabilities is further complemented by the care provided at AHN Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion. Thoracic surgery patients will have easy access to preventative, pre- and post-op care as well as rehabilitation services all from one centralized campus.”
Since opening its doors last fall, AHN Wexford Hospital has opened a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab and launched a bariatric surgery program, among other significant milestones. The hospital’s 24-bed emergency department boasts a two-minute average wait time and provides emergency care for adults and children alike.
For more information: www.ahn.org