Cardiac Surgery

The thought of heart or vascular surgery can be scary, whether the patient is you or someone you love. Turn to Beacon for the advanced expertise, technology and compassionate, high-quality care that can heal your heart – and ease your mind.

Our cardiothoracic (heart and chest) surgeons and vascular surgeons are fellowship trained and experienced, and our nurses and other staff members know how to care for you and keep you as comfortable as possible as you recover.

Some of the heart and vascular surgeries we commonly perform include:

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

Often called simply a bypass, this surgery involves taking a section from a healthy blood vessel and attaching it above and below the blocked or damaged section of an artery. This reopens the artery so that blood can flow through it. It’s the most commonly performed heart surgery.

Our surgeons perform both traditional and off-pump bypass surgery. In a traditional bypass, a heart and lung machine pumps and oxygenates your blood so your heart can be at rest during the surgery. In off- pump bypass surgery, the heart continues to beat while the surgeon works. The surgeon stabilizes just the section of the heart where the bypass is needed. Your doctor will determine whether you are a candidate for an off-pump bypass.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (AAA repair)

This surgery repairs a weak or damaged section of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. The damaged section can balloon out, becoming thin and fragile. This ballooning is called an aneurysm, and it’s a life-threatening condition. In traditional AAA repair, the bulging part of the aorta is replaced with an artificial graft. A less invasive surgery involves covering the aneurysm with a stent graft. Blood flows through the stent, entirely bypassing the aneurysm.

Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) transmyocardial revascularization (TMR)

This laser surgery stimulates blood vessel growth, increasing oxygen supply to the heart itself and decreasing chest pain. TMR is usually performed along with bypass surgery on patients with a blood-deprived heart muscle.

Valve repair surgery

This open-heart procedure fixes a poorly functioning heart valve, often without the need for mechanical or biologic parts. Your surgeon may separate fused valve leaflets—flaps that open and close allowing blood to flow through the valve (called a commissurotomy). Your surgeon may remove calcium deposits that can block the valve or keep it from working properly. Your surgeon may remove pieces of weak valve leaflets (called a resection), and patch holes or tears in valve leaflets.

Valve replacement surgery

This open-heart procedure removes a poorly functioning valve, and replaces it with either a mechanical or natural tissue valve. During the surgery, a heart-lung machine pumps and oxygenates the blood so the heart is completely at rest while the surgeon performs the replacement surgery. If you receive a mechanical valve replacement, you will need to take a blood-thinning medication called coumadin daily for life to prevent blood clots from forming on the prosthetic valve.

Pacemaker placement

This procedure places a small electronic device under the skin in the chest (just below the collarbone) to help regulate electrical problems with the heart that can cause rhythm disorders and keep the heart beating regularly. It does not require open heart surgery. The pacemaker is connected to the heart through a vein. In some cases, you may not have to stay in the hospital overnight.

Septal defect repair

This procedure repairs a hole in the septum between the two upper chambers of the heart. These holes can potentially lead to stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). During the surgery, a heart and lung machine will pump and oxygenate blood so the heart can be at rest while the surgeon works. Repair can range from simple to complex, depending on the location, size and nature of the defect.

Pericardial window

This procedure makes an opening in the pericardium (the membrane around the heart) to drain fluid around the heart (pericardial effusion). A pericardial window can be completed through a small incision below the end of the breastbone (sternum) or through a small incision between the ribs on the left side of the chest.

You’ll need a referral from a doctor for any of these procedures. We’ll work with you to make sure you and your family are prepared for the surgery and recovery, and we’ll send reports on your progress to your doctor.

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