Cardiothoracic Surgery

Heart and Lung Surgery Options

Cardiothoracic surgery is used to treat diseases affecting the heart and lungs. At Carondelet, we offer highly advanced heart and lung surgery, including minimally invasive procedures that use smaller incisions than traditional surgery.

Our cardiovascular surgeons are board-certified heart and lung specialists, and experts in the most modern surgical techniques. They tailor your procedure to perform the safest and most effective approach for your individual condition.

Our doctors work together as a team to deliver the quality care you deserve both in and out of the operating room. We’ll work closely with you and your family to help you maintain optimal health and well-being.

Cardiothoracic Procedures

We’re proud to offer the following heart and lung surgical procedures and services.

Off-Pump Beating Heart Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

Traditional coronary bypass surgery requires the use of a heart-lung bypass machine, or bypass pump. The patient’s heart is stopped while connected to this machine as it does the work of the heart during surgery.

A newer type of bypass surgery does not use the heart-lung bypass machine. This procedure, called off-pump beating heart coronary artery bypass grafting or OPCAB, is done while the heart is still beating. Special devices are used to stabilize the part of the heart being operated on. Benefits include:

  • Less risk of bleeding/blood transfusion
  • Less risk of neurological injury (including stroke and memory function)
  • Less risk of heart, liver or kidney complications
  • Shorter recovery time

Minimally Invasive Surgeries

Traditional cardiac surgery usually requires opening the breastbone for access to the heart. Advances in minimally invasive techniques allow surgeons to perform many types of heart surgeries without opening the breastbone or by just opening a small portion of the breastbone.

Minimally invasive procedures require a small incision — three to four inches — as compared to the six- to eight-inch incision required for conventional surgeries. In general, minimally invasive procedures offer patients the following advantages:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Smaller scars
  • Less risk of infection
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Less pain

Valve Repair/Replacements

Minimally invasive procedures can be used to repair or replace both the mitral and the aortic valve. The mitral valve sits between the upper and lower chambers of the heart and helps control the flow of blood. The aortic valve connects the heart and aorta. It opens so blood can flow out, then closes to keep blood from returning to the heart. With minimally invasive valve repair and replacement, surgeons use smaller incisions and specialized instruments.

Coronary Bypass Surgery

Coronary arteries deliver blood to the heart, giving it a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients needed for it to function normally. When an artery becomes too narrow or blocked, minimally invasive coronary bypass surgery may be needed. This procedure creates a new path for blood to flow to the heart. The surgeon takes a healthy piece of vein from the leg, or artery from the chest or wrist, then attaches it to the coronary artery, just above and below the narrowed area of blockage. This allows blood to get around, or bypass, the blockage.

Hybrid Heart Procedures

With the hybrid operating suite at the Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute, cardiologists and surgeons can work together to offer a surgical procedure and an interventional procedure (a procedure that involves threading a catheter through an incision in the skin) at the same time or in tandem.

Hybrid operations allow surgeons the flexibility to tailor operations to your needs. In some cases, a hybrid approach can enable the surgeon to treat a condition with a single operation rather than a series of operations.

Endoscopic Vein Harvesting

With a small incision (less than one inch) and an endoscopic camera, a surgeon can take or “harvest” a healthy blood vessel and use it for grafting, moving it to another part of the body. This is done with minimal trauma to the vessel or surrounding tissue. Benefits include greater mobility, less pain and faster recovery.

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