Top 5 Takeaways on Diseases of the Aorta and Veins

Dr. Dawn Coleman shares information from Mini Med School presentation

mini_med_school_cardiovascular_graphic diseases blogLeading U-M Frankel CVC researchers and physicians are advancing knowledge, finding new treatments and applying new technologies. Each week one of them shared his or her expertise in a six-week Mini Med School community education program focused on cardiovascular topics.

Here are the Top 5 Takeaways from Dr. Dawn Coleman’s Mini Med School presentation on Diseases of the Aorta and Veins:

1. Surgery for AAA is a solid option

Open surgical repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remains a durable option for patients; endovascular measures with stent graft technology continue to evolve, offering expanded indications for use with complex anatomy and a lower risk of early death and major complication. Continue reading

I need a cardiologist … now what?

U-M Call Center professionals make the process smooth

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The U-M Call Center team (from left): Cheryl Palmer, Sandy Coffey, Andrea Navarre and Ashley Chang.

Your primary physician just recommended you see a cardiologist for a suspected heart condition. So where do you go from here?

If you decide you’d like to see a University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center cardiologist, the process is straightforward, beginning with a call to one of our Call Center professionals.

Call Center professionals are here to help guide you through the process of identifying the right cardiologist.

Getting started

“We start by gathering as much information from the caller as possible,” says Andrea Navarre. This includes a diagnosis (if one was given by the primary doctor) and a description of any symptoms the person is experiencing. “We realize that finding the right doctor can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to provide guidance and to point each caller to a cardiologist who aligns with his or her specific diagnosis or needs.” Continue reading

Cardiovascular Center celebrates 200th TAVR, new hope for aortic patients


Genevieve Boguszewski, 87, enjoying life after TAVR to replace aortic valve.

Slowing down with age was something Genevieve Boguszewski simply couldn’t accept. By age 87, a body changes but she suddenly couldn’t manage her own gardening or vacuum a rug. She needed oxygen just to get around.

Following care at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center to replace a diseased aortic valve, she’s not just getting older, but better. Elderly patients like her often cannot tolerate open heart surgery, but with the TAVR procedure, valve replacement was possible.

“I could tell from the look on his face how far I’d come,” she says of her 30-day follow-up visit with University of Michigan interventional cardiologist Stanley Chetcuti, M.D. “He said I didn’t look like the same person. I definitely don’t feel like the same person. I told him ‘It’s because of you that I feel good again.’ “

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Genetic defect brings family together

Aleo family credits Dr. Himanshu Patel for expert, compassionate care

Aleo family members wait for Denise Aleo to come out of surgery for a congenital heart defect

Family wears “We Love Team Patel” t-shirts to show support

Support and teamwork take on a whole new meaning with the Aleo family. Their dedication to one another is apparent when you hear their story, which began five years ago and continued at the University of Michigan on April 15, 2013.

On that particular day, 15 members of the family gathered at the hospital to support 53-year-old Denise Aleo as she was wheeled into surgery for a condition shared by her mother, brother, sister, nieces, nephews and other relatives. The condition, called thoracic aortic genetic disorder, is caused by a defect in the SMAD3 gene, and can result in life-threatening aortic issues. It is a topic the family knows all too well.

But it wasn’t just the size of the group that drew attention that April morning. It was also the fact that each member of the Aleo family wore a maize and blue t-shirt shirt that read: “We Love Team Patel.” The words were in reference to University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center surgeon Dr. Himanshu Patel, who would perform surgery on Denise that day.

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