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Consumer Reports includes Upstate in "Protect Your Heart" issue

Consumer Reports cover

The September issue of "Consumer Reports" features a package on heart health.

The September issue of "Consumer Reports" magazine includes an exclusive rating of heart surgeons -- and Upstate's cardiac surgery program makes the list.

The ratings come from data provided by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for July 1, 2009 to July 1, 2010, looking at overall performance, complications and other quality measures. The magazine says roughly 1,100 surgical groups in the United States perform heart bypass surgery, and the society gathered data for more than 90 percent of them. The magazine published results for the 324 groups, including Upstate, which gave permission to be included.

Like most of the groups, Upstate earned two out of three stars and an "average" rating.

"It means everyone is doing an excellent job at preventing patient deaths," explains Frederick Grover MD, and an organizer of the society's national database and chairman of the department of surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora.

Grover says in the accompanying article that patients who need heart surgery should ask prospective surgeons to see the data they provide to the society. If the surgeon declines, Grover says, "keep looking."

Read more: "Protect Your Heart" package

Upstate in the ratings