Welcome to the Cardiac Fitness Center of St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center - the only hospital-based program of its kind on Long Island.

The center is located on the park-like grounds of The DeMatteis Center for Cardiac Research and Education in Greenvale.

Located just off Northern Boulevard, its serene setting offers plenty of convenient and accessible parking.

Our popular fitness center enjoys more than 60,000 visits a year and recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Visitors are greeted by our friendly staff to make sure every exercise session feels like a welcome visit.

All of our cardiac fitness programs are medically supervised by a doctor, registered nurses and other healthcare professionals, who are always on site.

Our award-winning center is equipped with state-of-the-art exercise equipment.

The workout circuit includes bicycles, treadmills, weight lifting stations and an indoor walking track.

All patients are prescreened for an appropriate fitness plan to ensure all of their cardiac needs are met.

Everyone is continually monitored for their progress by our highly dedicated staff.

For more information on how you can step up to better health and how we can help, call (516) 629-2040.

Pediatric Cardiology

Welcome from the Chairman
levchuck Welcome to the Pediatric Cardiology Department at St. Francis Hospital. We pride ourselves on offering non-surgical solutions for correcting congenital heart disease in children. We are one of the five top hospitals in the country for repairing patent foramen ovale (PFO) holes in the heart.

- Sean Levchuck, M.D., Chairman of Pediatric Cardiology
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Department Overview » Research & Clinical Trials »
Conditions Treated » Contact Info »
Key Treatments » Find a Doctor in this Department »

Department Overview

Our Pediatric Cardiology team specializes in heart repair without surgery. We’re dedicated to providing the best care, expertise and technology for correcting selected congenital heart defects that previously would have required open heart surgery.

Cardiologists at St. Francis Hospital have a near perfect success rate using non-surgical catheter-based techniques that can achieve a permanent cure in patients with congenital defects.

Our pediatric department is among the busiest centers performing device closures on the east coast. We specialize in repairing holes between the upper chambers of the heart known as atrial septal defects (ASD) and patent foramen ovale (PFO).

Through the international “Gift of Life” program, we have also been able to reach out to children from economically and technologically disadvantaged countries so they too can benefit from these lifesaving procedures.

The Pediatric Cardiology Department is dedicated to treating all forms of acquired and congenital heart disease in children, infants and young adults as well as electrical disorders of the heart. We also treat adults with congenital heart disease.

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Conditions Treated

  • Most forms of acquired and congenital heart disease in children and young adults
  • Congenital heart disease in adults
  • Catheter closure of atrial septal defects, patent foramen ovale and patent ductus arteriosus
  • Electrical disorders of the heart

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Key Treatments

Transcatheter Closure for Holes in the Heart

This non-surgical procedure had been used only to repair holes smaller than 20 millimeters, but new devices now enable our physicians to treat patients with larger holes offering patients the benefits of heart repair without surgery. Through a small tube called a catheter, specially trained cardiologists implant a device to close the hole. The closure devices are attached to a catheter and advance to the heart through a needle hole in the vein of the patient’s leg. Upon insertion the flexible arms of the device open toward each other and attach to either side of the defective heart wall, sealing the hole. Within four to six months the normal smooth lining of the heart covers the device completely, effectively becoming a permanent part of the heart wall.

Stent Insertion for Congenital Heart Disease

A stent is an expandable wire-mesh sleeve that is inserted to prop open a narrowing in the arteries. Most aortic stents are inserted as a follow up to angioplasty, in which the narrowing is opened by inflating a balloon. The balloon and stent are delivered to the heart area via a long tube inserted in a blood vessel in the patient’s thigh.

Valvuloplasty for Congenital Heart Disease

Valvuloplasty, also know as percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty, is used to widen a narrowed or stiff stenotic heart valve. A catheter is inserted through a blood vessel in the arm or groin and guided through the heart to the diseased valve. Balloons on the catheter are inflated, enlarging the opening to the valve, thereby improving blood flow to the heart and the rest of the patient’s body.

Cardiac Arrhythmia Ablation in Children

Catheter Ablation is way of treating debilitating and potentially deadly arrhythmias or abnormal rhythms of the heart. A cardiologist inserts a catheter into the heart to find out where the arrhythmia originates. A device then delivers energy to the source of the irregular rhythm, disconnecting its electrical pathway and allowing the heart to beat more regularly.

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Research & Clinical Trials

Closure 1 Trial

The purpose of this study is to compare the efficacy of using transcatheter PFO closure for cryptogenic stroke (i.e., from an unknown source) vs. anticoagulant medication.

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Contact the Department of Pediatric Cardiology

Contact Phone
Milton Reitman, M.D. (516) 365-3340
Ambrose Vallone, M.D. (516) 365-3340
Sean Levchuck, M.D. (516) 365-3340
Doug Luxenberg, D.O. (516) 365-3340

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