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Kaleida Health announced Thursday the recruitment of a heart surgeon from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City to direct a new aortic surgery center.

Dr. Ramin Malekan specializes in evaluating and treating diseases of the aorta, principally aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections, as well as mitral valve repair. The Buffalo region has not had a thoracic aortic surgeon capable of providing this service, so patients were forced to go downstate or to border states for treatment, officials said.

"This is another major step in our plan to assemble the most comprehensive program for cardiac and cardiothoracic care in Western New York," said Dr. Cynthia Ambres, chief medical officer of Kaleida Health.

Malekan received his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. His general surgery residency training was at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York.

The advantages of mitral valve repair, compared with replacement, include a lower mortality at the time of surgery, a significantly lower risk of stroke and major bleeding, and improved prognosis for long-term survival, officials said.

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