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First Open Heart Surgeries Performed at Silver Cross

First Open Heart Surgeries Performed at Silver Cross

Pete Grossi of Lockport is No. 1 with his family! He’s also No. 1 at Silver Cross Hospital  in New Lenox…where he made history as the hospital’s very first open heart surgery patient last month.

Grossi underwent successful coronary artery bypass graft surgery at Silver Cross May 22, performed by renowned cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Pat Pappas.

A week later, Grossi was recovering in the comfort of home, but not before hospital staff created a special Silver Cross moment for him and his wife Jennifer, complete with balloons, gifts and plenty of good wishes!

Pete and his wife Jennifer

Grossi admits he was initially nervous at the prospect of being the hospital’s first heart surgery patient, but with the reassurance of his family and medical team, he quickly overcame his fears and is delighted with his decision.

“Putting my life in the hands of the heart center at Silver Cross was an easy decision to make,” he said. “The care from every person I encountered is second to none. Thank you to everyone.”

With the debut of its heart surgery program, Silver Cross patients who need heart surgery now can have it right in New Lenox, close to home and their families.

“Silver Cross offers the full spectrum of heart care services that our community needs,” said Silver Cross President/CEO Ruth Colby. “That means heart patients will no longer have to experience the stress and anxiety of having to leave their preferred hospital and travel for advanced heart care.”

The hospital’s new heart surgery program received unanimous approval last December by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. Since then, Silver Cross has been preparing for the program by working on expanding the Procedural Care Unit (PCU) on the second floor.

Dr. Pat Pappas

In 2020, two additional state-of-the-art operating rooms will be added, along with a “hybrid room” equipped with advanced medical imaging devices to support minimally invasive surgery.

In addition, a dedicated cardiac care unit will open on the first floor directly below the PCU to care for patients after heart surgery, and will be serviced with a dedicated elevator between the two units.

Silver Cross currently has the eighth largest cardiac catheterization program in the State of Illinois and leads the local market for outpatient cardiac procedures performed annually. In 2017 alone, Silver Cross performed more than 3,500 diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterizations, an 11 percent increase over the previous year. And between 2015 and 2016, diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterizations performed at Silver Cross Hospital increased by 13%.

Dr. Phillip Alexander

Through the hospital’s future structural heart program, minimally invasive catheter-based technology will be used to treat life-threatening valve disorders and structural heart defects. Minimally invasive approaches translate to better outcomes for patients, including a lower risk of infection and complications, reduced trauma to the chest (since the chest doesn’t have to be opened), a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery.

Dr. Pappas is the President of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgical Associates (CTVSA) and is a highly respected surgeon throughout the Chicagoland area. He has been practicing cardiovascular thoracic surgery for over 25 years and is involved in multiple research presentations and publications. He has performed over 25,000 cardiac surgery procedures, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

Also performing open heart surgery at Silver Cross is cardiovascular/thoracic surgeon Dr. Philip Alexander.

For more information about heart care services at Silver Cross, visit

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