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Renowned heart specialist, Dr. Mario Castillo-Sang, joins St. E’s cardiovascular center of excellence

Cardiothoracic surgeon Mario Castillo-Sang, MD, has joined St. Elizabeth Healthcare, bringing to the Northern Kentucky community leading expertise in minimally invasive mitral valve surgery and left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implant surgery for advanced heart failure.

After completing a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine/Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., Dr. Castillo-Sang established a minimally invasive mitral valve surgery program at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C., and more recently built a similar program at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati.

Dr. Mario Castillo-Sang

“Dr. Castillo-Sang brings an incredible skill set to an already excellent team of cardiothoracic surgeons at St. Elizabeth Healthcare,” says Garren Colvin, President & CEO St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “His expertise will allow us to expand our abilities to provide leading heart care to the Northern Kentucky community and beyond.”

He has performed nearly 400 minimally invasive mitral valve surgeries, repairing or replacing the mitral valve that regulates blood flow from the left upper chamber of the heart (atrium) to the left lower chamber (ventricle). He has distinguished himself nationally with his skill and success with complex mitral valve surgeries.

Dr. Castillo-Sang also is among Greater Cincinnati’s most experienced LVAD surgeons and performs a wide range of other heart surgeries. LVADs are permanent heart pumps implanted to help patients who have severe heart failure live longer. Dr. Castillo-Sang plans to establish an LVAD program at St. Elizabeth Heart and Vascular Institute.

Expanding a Cardiovascular Center of Excellence

Dr. Castillo-Sang expresses his enthusiasm for joining St. Elizabeth cardiothoracic surgeons Victor Schmelzer, MD; George Christensen, DO; Karl Ulicny, MD; and James Locher, MD, along with a team of highly experienced cardiologists and staff. Together, they comprise Greater Cincinnati’s only Cardiovascular Center of Excellence, designated by the American Heart Association.

“I think that the spirit of the people who work at St. Elizabeth is what drew me here,” Dr. Castillo-Sang says. “Everyone on this team treats patients as if they are somebody’s son or somebody’s father. These are people who will listen to you, who will be there for you and not treat you as a number. This team offers truly compassionate care that is at the highest of the spectrum in quality and technical prowess. It’s not common that you have a center with the offerings we have here.”

St. Elizabeth Healthcare operates five facilities throughout Northern Kentucky and more than 115 primary care and specialty office locations in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. A member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, St. Elizabeth is a mission-based organization committed to improving the health of the communities it serves, providing more than $116 million in uncompensated care and benefit to the community in 2018. For more information, visit stelizabeth.com.

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