John J. Kelemen III MD, FACS
Board Certified Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon
- Fellowship: St Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri
- General Surgery Residency: Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas
- Surgical Internship: Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas
- Medical School: Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, Maryland
ABOUT THE PROVIDER
Dr. John Kelemen is Chief of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Hilton Head Hospital. He is a seasoned surgeon with more than 20 years of experience in adult cardiac and thoracic surgery. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before entering civilian practice in 2005. He has built his surgical practice upon the foundation of a multidisciplinary Heart Team that is dedicated to a personalized approach to make sure all of your needs are met. The collegial and collaborative interaction of the team allows a detailed consideration of all the medical and personal aspects of your situation and enhances communication. Dr. Kelemen leads the team and is directly involved in all aspects of your care. He is strongly committed to developing a personal relationship with you, which he pursues through daily conversations as you progress through treatment. Leading with compassion is a key element to the success of his practice, which is evident in his excellent outcomes. Attention to detail, communication, and outstanding outcomes have solidified his reputation among the leading cardiovascular and thoracic programs in the country.
Dr. Kelemen enjoys the many benefits of operating in a boutique hospital. It makes it possible for his team to spend more time with you in order to give more specialized care. He believes it is essential to understand your expectations: “where are you now and where do you want to be”. This is the starting point for the team in determining how to help you achieve your goals symbiotically and comfortably.
While Dr. Kelemen and his team at Hilton Head Hospital humbly regard their successes on a personal level, their statistics and data provide a concrete picture of their outstanding results. Dr. Kelemen encourages you to research your doctor so that you can make an informed decision about your health. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) maintains a national database with public reporting on the internet. In addition to facilitating communication to the public regarding outcomes, the STS data provides a framework for continuous improvement. While all surgeons are concerned about your immediate recovery, Dr. Kelemen, is also very focused on your long-term quality of life and survival. In coronary surgery, long-term outcomes are correlated with graft patency. It is well-known that the internal thoracic artery has a 90-95% patency at 20 years compared to a 50-60% patency for vein grafts. All surgeons use one internal thoracic artery but very few use two. In fact, of 5% patients nationally and less than 3% in South Carolina receive a second internal thoracic artery. Dr. Kelemen performs bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting in 60-70% of his patients. This is more than ten times the national average. This demonstrates that Dr. Kelemen cares not only about “your today” but also about “your tomorrow”. Dr. Kelemen knows that bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting is the absolute right thing to do for most people’s long term health and life goals. He is fond of saying “when health gets better, life gets better”. He also believes strongly and takes great precautions in blood conservation, which results in fewer blood transfusions needed for patients for more favorable recoveries.
Dr. Kelemen, while not a South Carolina native, had always intended to move to the Low Country when he fell in love with it beginning with several trips in college with his wife’s family. He feels fortunate than an auspicious opportunity to continue his medical career brought him to Hilton Head sooner than even he had planned. While not tending to patients, Dr. Kelemen enjoys spending time with his wife and five adult children. He is active in medical organizations and is the 2020 president of the American Heart Association.
- All arterial coronary artery bypass grafting
- Heart valve repair & replacement
- Aortic root surgery
- Thoracic aortic surgery including endovascular repair
- Lung Cancer
- Benign thoracic conditions
- Carotid Endarterectomy