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JFL Hospital Team Performs First Open-Heart Surgery in Territory

Dr. Moses deGraft-Johnson and his brother, Dr. John deGraft-Johnson, team up to perform the first open-heart surgery in the U.S. Virgin Islands.A team of doctors at Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital Tuesday performed the first open-heart surgery in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The hospital’s cardiac surgeon, Dr. Moses deGraft-Johnson, and a team of highly trained physicians and nurses performed the surgery on a female patient from St. Croix, according to a news release from the hospital.
The release did not give the patient’s name, nor did it specify what type of cardiac procedure was performed.
Hospital board chairman Dr. Valdemar Hill Jr. said of Tuesday’s operation, “This is a very exciting, trailblazing time for us. It is a milestone for sure.”
The patient’s primary physician, Dr. Dante Galiber, said he was pleased that his patient did not have to leave the territory to obtain treatment.
DeGraft-Johnson, a heart specialist in cardiovascular and thoracic procedures, led the surgical team which was comprised of physicians and nurses from Luis Hospital and a visiting team from the University of Minnesota’s Lillehei Heart Institute.
The JFL cardiovascular team, along with the visiting medical team from the Lillehei Heart Institute of the University of Minnesota, perform the first open-heart surgery in the territory.The Luis Hospital staff includes cardiac surgeon deGraft-Johnson; Dr..Dante Galiber, director of the Progressive Care Unit; Dr. Kendall Griffith, director of the V.I. Cardiac Center; and Dr. Michael Potts, chief of Cardiology.
According to the release, the hospital is prepared to offer such procedures as cardiac rehabilitation, coronary angioplasty and stenting, coronary and peripheral angiography and intervention, cardiac catheterization, coronary artery bypass surgery, pacemaker implants, and implantation of cardiac defibrillators.
According to deGraft-Johnson, patients with lung cancer and severe trauma, along with heart disease can be treated with the newly acquired technology at the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center.

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