Dr John Kratz grew up and went to medical school in Indiana. On starting his residency training he was attracted to the surgical training program at the Medical University of SC and came to Charleston as an intern in surgery. He went on to complete residency training in both general surgery and cardiothoracic training at the Medical University. On completion of his training no other institution offered the opportunity to develop his interest in heart surgery as well and the Medical University therefore he stayed on as an attending physician and has practiced there for over 28 years.
Dr Kratz’s special surgical skills reside in two areas. Over his many years at the Medical University he has developed extensive experience and skill in the management of adult acquired heart disease. These diseases would include coronary artery obstruction which is treated with coronary bypass surgery. He is also very experienced in the treatment of heart valve defects using repair or replacement. Dr Kratz supervises the Medical University’s cardiac surgery quality database and has used this tool to introduce techniques which have allowed the Medical University cardiac surgery team to deliver some of the most successful results in the country to their patients.
With the advent of increasing use of pacemaker and cardiac defibrillators there has been a natural increase in the number of patients who unfortunately have developed complications associated with these devices. These problems would include infection, pain, and difficulty in placing leads which function properly on the heart. Though his many years of managing patients from all over South Carolina and the southeast Dr Kratz has become a source of special expertise in the management of pacemaker and internal cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) complications for referring physicians and their patients. Special tools such as specially designed lasers and a specially equipped operating room at the Medical University’s new Ashley Rive Tower hospital make it possible for Dr Kratz to bring the most advanced techniques to bear on these problems.