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Patient Stories: Hear the inspiring stories of real patients at Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates
By Nancy Kennedy


Ask Margie and Duane Barnhart about their experiences as patients at Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates, and prepare yourself for a double helping of heartfelt gratitude and deep admiration. To this Adamsburg couple, there is simply no finer healthcare facility and no better healthcare providers than those at GPVA.  Both Margie, 71, and Duane, 75, are patients of GPVA, and both have received life-changing care from cardiologist and vascular specialist Gennady Geskin, M.D., his physician associates and the GPVA team. 

For Duane, Dr. Geskin is a personal hero. “Dr. Geskin saved my life,” he says. “I had an aortic aneurysm that was discovered by my PCP, Daniel Medic, MD. I was referred to another physician at a hospital in the city, and was scheduled to have open chest surgery to repair the aneurysm. This doctor warned me that because I weighed over 300 pounds, the surgery was risky. He told Margie that I might not make it off the table. We were both scared to death but thought we had no choice but to go ahead with it.”

Fortunately for Duane, his wife Margie is a gregarious woman, and when she went to GPVA for treatment for varicose veins, she chatted with Nicole Bruno, MSN, ACNP, about her husband’s condition and the anxiety she felt about the upcoming surgery. Nicole listened attentively and then told Margie, “We can help you and Duane. Bring your husband in here today and let us check him out.”

Nicole was as good as her word. A few hours later, Dr. Geskin examined Duane and felt that he was a good candidate for an alternative procedure that was far less likely to lead to complications. He scheduled the procedure to be performed at Jefferson Hospital and two days later, Duane underwent a minimally invasive procedure. It was a bit complicated, as the aneurysm involved the left renal artery, but Dr. Geskin was able to both fix the aneurysm and preserve the kidney, using endograft (stent) technology. The procedure went well and Duane was home in 72 hours.

That was four years ago. Today, Duane feels great; he has retired from his work in a glass factory and enjoys life with Margie and their dog Jax. Revitalized by his good outcome, he has managed to lose 100 pounds. Margie says the combination of her healthy cooking (she highly recommends the air fryer) plus Duane’s commitment to intermittent fasting has been the ticket to success. “If I hadn’t talked to Nikki that day about Duane, he would probably be dead,’ she says. “Nikki was genuinely concerned and made room in the schedule so that he could be seen immediately. Duane wasn’t even their patient! But that’s the kind of people they are – they go out of their way to help their patients. I don’t think this would have happened anywhere else.”

Margie is also a patient of Dr. Geskin, who has treated her for varicose veins. “I had a lot of leg pain and swelling. Dr. Geskin is the only doctor who was able to help me with my legs. My legs are no longer painful and I wear compression socks to prevent swelling.”

Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates is a division of Jefferson Cardiology. GPVA provides comprehensive services and the most advanced care in state-of-the-art facilities equipped with the latest medical imaging and surgical technologies to diagnose and effectively treat problems with arteries and veins. According to Gennady Geskin, MD, “We treat patients with peripheral arterial disease, chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. We perform every venous and arterial procedure, including laser atherectomy and stenting as well as aneurysm repair.”

The Barnharts have had more than their fair share of medical problems. Duane has also had cancer and endured multiple surgeries; Margie had open heart surgery and a pacemaker insertion five years ago. They both say that in all their experience with hospitals, doctors and the healthcare system, the best care they have ever received is that of Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates. “Dr. Geskin is a wonderful man and the best doctor; Nikki and everyone at GPVA are the best people in the world,” Margie says. “They treated us like family. Everything about GPVA is wonderful. If you have any problems with your arteries, veins or your heart, you should make an appointment with GPVA.”

For more information, visit www.greaterpittsburghvascularassociates.com; to make an appointment call (412) 469-1500.



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