A man watched by millions, beloved and adored by fans, 75-year old Regis Philbin is leaving "Live with Regis and Kelly" for a number of weeks as he undergoes a triple bypass.
"It's used when patients have a blocked or multiple arteries in the heart that are blocked called coronary arteries."
Ingham Regional Medical Center Cardiac Surgeon Dr. Gary Roth says it's not unusual for a man Philbin's age to be suffering from coronary artery disease. He says as the baby boomer generation gets older, heart centers will be a necessity.
"Are we going to see an increase in the incidence with the baby boomers? Absolutely."
"As you get older you're more prone to hardening of the arteries. You have more time for hardening of the arteries to manifest," says Sparrow Hospital Cardiologist Dr. Paul Goldshlack.
At Sparrow Hospital the Heart Center has been around for more than 10 years. Just a few weeks ago Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital opened its brand new Heart Station. And Ingham Regional Medical Center's Chi Heart and Surgery Center is just a few months away from being completed.
"With the centers that have expanded and the centers that have opened, there'll be more opportunity to evaluate these patients," says Roth.
A great number of patients that will come to rely on heart centers as baby boomers continue to age.