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Cardiac Surgery

Our fellowship-trained physicians and surgeons and our clinical and nursing staff members are specially certified in cardiac care. We provide heart attack care and advanced diagnostic and treatment options for heart patients. Our open-heart surgical teams are available to perform life-saving heart surgery whenever necessary, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We have two surgical suites dedicated solely to cardiothoracic surgery (surgery involving the heart and lungs). Our highly experienced cardiothoracic team includes cardiovascular surgeons, physicians, operating room nurses, physician assistants and perfusionists (specialists who operate the heart-lung bypass machine during surgery).

Your Guide to Cardiac Surgical Procedures

Open heart surgery is any surgery that involves opening the chest to operate on the heart muscle, heart valves, arteries or other parts of the heart. Open heart surgery requires stopping the heart and using a heart-lung bypass machine to divert the flow of blood.

In minimally invasive heart surgery, surgery is performed through small incisions in the right side of the chest between the ribs. This type of surgery may or may not use a heart-lung bypass machine. Minimally invasive heart surgery is used to do some bypass and maze surgeries. It is also used to repair or replace heart valves, insert pacemakers, or take a vein or artery from the body to use as a bypass graft for CABG.

We offer the following types of heart surgery:

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery with conventional and less invasive options, including off-pump surgery and minimally invasive surgery
  • Minimally invasive cardiac valve surgery
  • Surgical approaches for heart rhythm disorders
  • Complex surgery of the aorta to repair aortic aneurysms and aortic dissection.
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for patients with severe aortic stenosis. It replaces a diseased aortic valve without open heart surgery

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), or Bypass Surgery

Coronary artery bypass grafting, or CABG (pronounced “cabbage”), is also called bypass surgery. This is the most common type of open-heart surgery. It creates a new route (a bypass) for blood and oxygen to reach the heart. The surgeon uses a blood vessel from the patient's own body to bypass a blockage in one or more of the arteries supplying the blood to the heart. This improves blood flow to the heart. CABG is used to treat patients who have severe coronary heart disease.

Minimally Invasive CABG

This minimally invasive heart surgery is performed through several small incisions. The heart continues to beat while the surgery is being performed.

Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (OPCAB)

OBCAP is a type of “beating heart” bypass surgery. This means that the chest is opened and the heart continues to beat while the surgery is being performed. It is very similar to CABG but does not use the heart-lung bypass machine.

Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass (MIDCAB)

MIDCAB is a type of minimally invasive off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery that uses a smaller and different kind of incision than OPCAB.

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Surgery

Aortic valve surgery is performed to replace the aortic valve in the heart. Blood flows out of your heart and into the aorta through the aortic valve. The aortic valve opens so blood can flow out and closes to keep blood from flowing backwards. If the aortic valve does not open or close all the way, it requires surgery. Minimally invasive aortic valve surgery is performed using small incisions.

Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Surgery

The heart contains four valves that open and close to let the blood flow in only one direction. Sometimes, because of a congenital defect, rheumatic fever, infection or age-related changes, the heart valves do not open or close properly. Defective heart valves can lead to more serious heart disease and make it difficult to lead a normal, active life.

When heart valves are damaged or defective and need to be corrected, it is best to repair the valve rather than replace it. A repaired valve lasts longer than a mechanical or biological valve replacement. If the patient is a candidate for minimally invasive heart valve surgery, the benefits are even greater.

Advantages of minimally invasive heart valve surgery include less blood loss, reduced pain and trauma, lower risk of infection, shorter hospital and recovery times, and smaller scars. The Heart Institute is pleased to be able to offer our patients this advanced surgical option.

Find a Physician

Find a physician online or call 215-345-2121 (Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) to speak with a referral counselor.