Specialized Care When You Need It Most
After you receive a diagnosis from your cardiologist, we can help determine the treatment option that’s best for you.
Beginning with your first appointment with us, we make sure you’re comfortable and well informed. Knowing what to expect at every step of the way can help ease your concerns, put you in a better state of mind and help with your recovery. Many of the procedures we perform are minimally invasive and robotically assisted, which can lead to less pain and a quicker return to a normal life.
Below, you’ll find a brief description of each procedure. Call to discuss the benefits, risks and recovery times for any of the following.
Most surgeons and patients refer to cardiac surgery simply as heart surgery. These procedures can keep your heart strong and can allow you to live a normal lifestyle.
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery
This surgery creates a new path for blood to flow into the heart. It becomes necessary when the effects of severe coronary heart disease blocks blood within the coronary artery. Bypassing the blocked artery through a healthy vessel can improve blood flow and reduce chest pain. A graft, or a piece of healthy vein, is used to create this new path.
Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery
People at a high risk of complications from the use of a heart-lung machine during coronary artery bypass surgery may qualify for this procedure. Instead of using the machine to pump blood, surgeons use advanced technology to keep the heart beating while they operate. Not all patients are candidates for this procedure. Be sure you and your physician discuss your options to see if it’s right for you.
Aortic Valve Replacement
As the name suggests, this procedure replaces a failing aortic valve with an artificial valve to improve blood flow to the heart. Aortic valve disease can cause a narrowing of the aortic vein, restricting blood from entering the heart. Other times, this disease can cause the valve to not entirely close, allowing blood to flow back into the heart. Replacing the valve completely becomes necessary when repair isn’t an option. There are minimally invasive techniques available for this procedure, which can offer patients a number of benefits including reduced trauma to the body and a quicker recovery.
Mitral Valve Repair
The mitral valve controls the inflow of blood to the heart and restricts blood from flowing back into the lungs. Damage to the mitral valve can cause it to narrow or leak. Generally, your doctor will recommend repair rather than full replacement, as this gives you a better chance of preserving heart functions. Surgeons perform most mitral valve repairs using minimally invasive techniques that involve smaller incisions and reduced blood loss compared to open surgery.
Mitral Valve Replacement
If your mitral valve is too weak or damaged for repair, it needs replacing. Surgeons will remove the weak valve and replace it with an artificial valve. With the artificial valve in place, it can regulate a more normal flow of blood. This can relieve shortness of breath and fatigue and allow you to return to normal activities.
A pericardial window serves a duel purpose: to diagnose and improve heart function. Using a small incision near your chest, surgeons can drain excess fluid surrounding the heart and view biopsy sites. This pericardial effusion (fluid) may build up from diseases, injury or after a procedure. Normally, the fluid provides a cushion around the heart muscles; however, too much can constrict the heart, making it difficult to pump blood as it should.
Thoracic Aneurysm Repair
Your doctor will recommend thoracic aneurysm repair if a weak part of the aorta bulges or expands. During the procedure, surgeons will replace this weak portion with a graft, or healthy piece of living tissue. Very few patients show symptoms after they suffer a thoracic aneurysm, but if the bulge should rupture, it can cause internal bleeding, shock or even death.
Atrial Septal Defect Repair
This type of surgery can repair holes typically found in the wall of heart chambers. The holes, known as atrial septal defects, form due to a congenial condition. Small defects can sometimes close on their own, but large holes can stay open, causing blood to flow back into the heart chamber. When that happens, the heart exerts more effort to re-pump the blood through the body.
Vascular surgery involves the treatment of diseases affecting veins, arteries or other blood vessels. It’s crucial that this intricate system circulates blood to vital organs, such as the heart and brain, so they can function. The following procedures can keep vessels open and clear, or create a new path for blood to flow.
EndoVenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLT)
This minimally invasive procedure allows blood to flow naturally through healthy veins and avoid veins damaged by certain venous conditions, such as varicose veins or venous insufficiency. These conditions cause the valves in the vein to work improperly, causing blood to pool. This makes the vein swell and bulge above the surface of the skin, turning a purple or blue color. In certain conditions, it can cause pain and discomfort. By using a special catheter, surgeons can guide a laser to the damaged vein and heat it with radiofrequency energy. The heat collapses the vein walls, redirecting blood to healthier veins.
If you are at risk of coronary artery disease, your doctor may recommend an arteriogram. This procedure can help your doctor check various body parts for aneurysms or blockages using an X-ray to view blood flow. First, the surgeon will inject you with a special dye that will follow the blood stream through your arteries. The dye gives doctors a clearer image of blood inside your body, which they can use to evaluate you for certain medical conditions. Arteriograms vary depending on the body part examined. Talk to your doctor about what to expect, how to prepare and what they will look for.
Similar to a conventional arteriogram, this procedure allows surgeons to observe the flow of blood using computed tomography (CT) scans. During the procedure, a surgeon injects you with special dye that shows up on X-ray images. You will then lie on a table and enter a large, circular CT machine that takes three-dimensional images of your body. The increased quality of the images can help doctors determine a diagnosis or path of treatment. CT scans are not for all patients. Talk to your doctor to see if this procedure is right for you.
People suffering from carotid artery disease are at a higher risk of stroke as fatty or waxy build-up starts to clog their carotid artery. Excessive build-up can require a carotid endarterectomy, a procedure that restores normal blood flow to the neck and brain. Surgeons will make a small incision in your carotid artery, located on the side of your neck, and remove the inner lining. This effectively clears deposits from the artery, helping you avoid the chance of blood clots to the brain.
Carotid stenting procedures use a wire mesh coil, or stent, to open carotid arteries in the neck to improve blood flow to the brain. Unlike carotid endarterectomy, which removes the inner lining of the carotid artery, carotid stenting is a less invasive approach that widens arteries that have narrowed. Your surgeon will thread a balloon to the affected area, inflate the balloon to widen the artery and place a stent to allow blood to flow naturally.
Leg Bypass Surgery
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that narrows certain arteries and reduces blood flow to your limbs. The disease can cause circulation problems, and in extensive cases, pain or trouble walking. When PAD affects circulation to the leg, bypass surgery allows your surgeon to create a healthier path for blood to flow using a synthetic or organic blood vessel. This procedure is particularly beneficial if you are not a candidate for angioplasty.
Endoscopic Vein Harvesting
In general, surgeons need healthy veins to create a graft for coronary artery bypass surgery. A graft is living tissue that surgeons use to create a new path for blood to flow. By removing a healthy vein from your leg or arm, surgeons have the organic material needed for bypass surgery. Endoscopic vein harvesting is a minimally invasive procedure, allowing surgeons to remove the vein through small incisions instead of a large cut. This can reduce pain after the procedure and lower your risk of infection.
Angioplasty and Stenting
Angioplasty and stents can treat people with peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition that can narrow arteries and reduce circulation at certain parts of the body. During an angioplasty, surgeons will thread a catheter tipped with a balloon through a small incision in your skin. Once the catheter reaches the intended area, the balloon inflates to widen the artery and let blood flow naturally. Your surgeon may decide to also insert a sturdy metal tube, called a stent, to keep the artery open after it widens.
Diseases in the chest and lungs may require thoracic surgery. When possible, surgeons will recommend minimally invasive or robotically-assisted techniques that can reduce pain, scarring and complications during and after surgery.
Certain surgical procedures involving the throat, lungs, heart, aorta or diaphragm require a large opening of the chest cavity. This is called a thoracotomy, and it gives surgeons the access they need to perform specific procedures, such as a tumor removal or heart transplant. The procedure you need determines where the incision on your chest is made. Talk to your doctor about the various types of thoracotomies and which are best suited for your condition.
Your lungs have multiple separate divisions, called lobes, which help your lungs function as they should. If a disease, such as tuberculosis, emphysema or fungal infections, or cancerous tumor infects a lobe, surgeons can perform a lobectomy. During this procedure, your surgeon can remove the affected lobe to prevent the disease or cancer from spreading to healthier lobes. Its removal can preserve the health of surrounding lobes that can maintain the lung’s normal function.
People at risk of lung disease or lung cancer can benefit from a lung biopsy. In this procedure, surgeons remove samples of lung tissue and examine them for abnormalities. This can help your doctor assess, diagnose and guide treatment of confirmed conditions. Methods of performing lung biopsies vary depending on the disease or condition being evaluated. Talk to your doctor about which procedure they recommend and ways you should prepare for your biopsy.