Lehigh Valley Health Network has been in the heartbeat business for a half-century and counting, pioneering open-heart surgery in the region and providing patients with the latest cardiac techniques and care ever since.
Proud of its past and forging a bright future, LVHN continues to set the heart care standard in the region, just as it did in April 1970 when Antonio Panebianco, MD, performed the Lehigh Valley’s first open-heart surgery, a coronary bypass, at the former Allentown Hospital, 17th and Chew Streets.
The magical core of this life-saving craft – human hands repairing another human’s heart by bypassing a clogged artery – remains at the center of a flurry of technological, medicinal and procedural options that make up the once unthinkable routine.
“The advances have been quite incredible,” says Ronald Freudenberger, MD, Physician in Chief of Lehigh Valley Heart Institute, which opened in 2018. “The outcomes are much better. But the basics of bypass surgery are really similar.”