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invasive, double bypass using robotic surgical tools.


Husam Balkhy, MD, a Froedtert Health Medical Group cardiothoracic surgeon, has performed more totally endoscopic beating heart coronary bypass procedures using the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System than any other surgeon nationwide. Te system enables physicians to complete intricate surgeries through a series of small incisions.

“Tat allows for a quicker recovery and a shorter hospital stay,” Dr. Balkhy said. “Brian’s blockages were in areas of the heart that could easily be reached using the robotic tools. He was the perfect candidate.”

n Mahmood Al-Wathiqui, MD, PhD

Some of the medical issues that would preclude a patient from being a good candidate include needing a large number of bypass graſts, or having previously undergone heart or lung surgery. According to Dr. Balkhy, anyone being considered for bypass should ask his or her physician if he or she is eligible for a robotic procedure.

Dr. Balkhy used the tiny robotic arms to attach graſt arteries to the coronary arteries, forming two new conduits for blood flow to Olstinski’s heart. Te double bypass procedure was performed through five small holes.

BACK ON THE PATH n Mark Husband

“My recovery was faster than I had imagined,” Olstinski said, going home three days aſter his surgery. Soon aſter, he began Community Memorial’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Olstinski had exercised regularly, but many bypass patients become more active aſter their surgery thanks to better blood flow to their heart, said Mark Husband, exercise physiologist.

n Husam Balkhy, MD

“We help patients gain the confidence to do whatever they want,” Husband said. Te Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, which is open to patients regardless of where they received their cardiac care, offers a comprehensive program of exercise, risk factor modification and heart health education. Te program is certified through the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Te professional team includes registered nurses, exercise physiologists, dietary technicians and behavioral health experts.


Tey help patients increase their exercise capacity and learn more about heart disease.

“Rehabilitation was awesome,” Olstinski said. Activities included stationary bicycling and treadmill work. “Tey have treadmills that feel like you’re running on a cloud,” he said. “Your joints don’t hurt at all.”

Before the month was out, he was cycling the same 25-mile path where he had suffered his heart attack just weeks earlier. Olstinski feels grateful to his entire care team, especially the nursing staff who helped him before, during and aſter his surgery.

“Te care I received at Community Memorial, from the moment I arrived in the ED, has just been phenomenal,” he said.

To make an appointment with a cardiologist or for more information about Community Memorial’s heart and vascular services or Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, call Careconnection at 262-251-1001 or 800-246-8332. n

n Brian and Sharon Olstinski

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