By Donna McCollum
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Fewer East Texans who learn they need heart surgery are picking up and going to Houston. Cardiac surgeon Dr James Young's knows that from his busy schedule. "Sometimes I find myself operating 12 or 14 hours. That might be two or three operations or sometimes four or five smaller operations, but there are some pretty long days. "
According to HealthGrades spokesman Chris Boyer, the cardiac surgery at Medical Center over the last three years had pretty remarkable results. "They're in the top ten percentile of all hospitals in the country, cardiac surgery. Moreover, they're in the top five hospitals in Texas for cardiac surgery and in the best in the Lufkin, Tyler, Longview and Nacogdoches area." It's an award of recognition that comes with a lot of marketing mileage for Medical Center CEO Gary Stokes. "(We'll advertise in a) fifteen hundred mile radius of the hospital here to let them know they don't have to go any farther then home to get some of the best cardiac care in the entire country."
Back in 2002 Archie McDonald had a double bypass in his hometown. "We did it here and we are delighted that we did." Young said, "I don't focus so much on trying to convince people what they need to do as far as staying or going. I just try to provide them an honest assessment of what we can do here and what we can't do here."