Dr. Answini is a minimally invasive cardiothoracic surgeon and one of very few cardiac surgeons in the Greater Cincinnati area who performs robotic surgery.
Born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, he graduated from medical school at Temple University in Philadelphia after completing his undergraduate at Auburn University. He continued his training at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, for his residency in general surgery, followed by a two-year fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery and robotic surgery at St. Louis University. He joined Ohio Heart and Vascular Center in July of 2003.
Dr. Answini's father was a professor of anatomy and physiology at Cookstown; a small university in Pennsylvania. He tutored and advised students who were preparing to apply for medical school. "After I was exposed to this during my high school and college years, I got hooked. It was a job that seemed very dynamic. Things were constantly changing and they still are. You're always on the cutting edge of these really neat technologies which are coming down the pipeline."
He also attributes some of his fascination with the heart and how it works to the fact that he was athlete in college. In fact, he was an All-American swimmer at Auburn University, while also graduating magna cum laude in biology and chemistry.
In his subsequent residency, cardiac surgery was the field that most interested him. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, minimally invasive procedures were still at the infancy stages. "I felt it was a great area for me-offering patients treatment options that were not done in a high frequency at that time."
Robotic surgeries enable patients to have a much quicker recovery. "It's a skill I can bring to the table to help people. In the field that I'm in, the patients are often in dire straits. Having the ability to improve their condition is incredibly rewarding. At the end of the day, it's just a good feeling to know that you've helped someone's mom or father or grandmother or grandfather."
Away from the hospital, Dr. Answini's private life revolves around family and church. He and his wife, Vanessa, who is an investment banker, are from the same Pennsylvania hometown, but didn't meet until he was a student at Temple. They have four children, a set of twins and another boy and girl to match.
The Answinis are very active in all the church programs, and both teach Sunday school. For Dr. Answini, his life, both professionally and personally, is grounded in his spirituality. "I believe that when God created me, He gave me a purpose in life. Every day I'm driven to try to do the best job that I can for Him and in appreciation for what He's done for me and the good health of my family."