Gwinnett Medical Center Performs 100th Open Heart Surgery

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Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) announces the successful completion of its 100th open heart surgery at the Strickland Heart Center. Patricia Stephens, a retired teacher from Lawrenceville, was the 100th open heart surgery patient. The procedure was performed by cardiothoracic surgeon David A. Langford, MD, one of the lead surgeons at the new heart center.

Stephens was referred by her cardiologist, Laurence Lesser, MD, to GMC for a diagnostic cardiac catheterization due to chest pain. Physicians determined a double coronary artery bypass grafting was required. Stephens was taken to surgery the following day.

“Ms. Stephens is a prime example of why we were driven to open the Strickland Heart Center,”# said GMC President and CEO Phil Wolfe. “Based on our location and comprehensive cardiac services we were able to meet her critical needs while she remained in the community, close to home.”#

“GMC”s comprehensive cardiac services played a major role in her successful outcome,”# said Dr. Langford. With more than 20 years of experience in cardiology, Dr. Langford was involved in all aspects of the heart center”s development. He is an employee of St. Joseph”s Medical Group and works exclusively at the Strickland Heart Center.

“After seeing the images following the cardiac catheterization, I was shocked,”# said Stephens, 54. “Although, I did not want to admit it, I knew that I was going to need bypass surgery immediately,”# said Stephens.

Although she was nervous, she did not feel overwhelmed. “The staff moved like a well-oiled machine providing personal care to my family and me,”# she said. Stephens continues to heal at home, and hopes to teach part-time in the fall.

The new Strickland Heart Center is a 40,000 square-foot facility that houses advanced technology, including state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization labs and operating rooms, providing residents of metro Atlanta access to leading cardiac care professionals.

About Gwinnett Medical Center
Recognized by HealthGrades”# awarded as America”s 100 Best Hospitals, Gwinnett Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare network with acute-care hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth.# Offering cardiovascular, orthopedic and neuroscience specialty care as well as a full continuum of wellness services, GMC”s 4,200 associates and 800 affiliated physicians serve more than 400,000 patients annually. To learn more about how GMC is transforming healthcare, visit or follow us at, or