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The Heart of a Family Man

The Heart of a Family Man

There’s no getting around Dwayne Bogolea’s family history of heart disease: His uncle died of a massive heart attack, his nephews needed stents before they reached age 30, and his dad has been following a strict low-salt, low-sugar, low-fat vegetarian diet for the past 25 years, ever since his own cardiac catheterization and stent placement at age 50. True to his genetic makeup, Dwayne, who has struggled with high cholesterol since his 20s, would need a cardiac intervention in May. Thanks to the availability of the latest technology for cardiac surgery at Independence Health System Westmoreland Hospital, his coronary artery bypass could be completed robotically, a minimally invasive procedure that had the 54-year-old Jeannette resident out of the hospital in a few days and back to work as a residential counselor by August.

Dwayne first noticed a potential health issue when he seemed to be persistently tired, but attributed his lack of energy to the demands of his active toddler, Elijah. It wasn’t until he became lightheaded and disoriented while at work that he sought medical attention in the Westmoreland Hospital Emergency Department. His initial electrocardiogram and blood pressure check were normal, but his symptoms required further evaluation. An abnormal nuclear stress test led to a cardiac catheterization which revealed significant blockages that would best be resolved with coronary artery bypass surgery. Understandably Dwayne was frightened, but Dr. Nevin Baker, his interventional cardiologist, was reassuring regarding next steps and Dr. Hiroyuki Tsukui, cardiothoracic surgeon, explained the surgery in detail. Although Dwayne was expecting to have robot-assisted surgery, he had been informed of the possibility that a full open heart surgery might be necessary if circumstances warranted a change in plan. He was delighted to learn post-op that he had just four small incisions and full feeling in his chest.

As to his lifestyle, Dwayne has finally adopted his father’s dietary habits and plans to model heart-healthy behavior for the little guy who calls him Dad.

To learn more about Heart Care at Independence Health System, click here.