Cardiothoracic Surgery - -

Cardiothoracic Surgery

From the Heart: Donald

Donald Peyton from Morton, Pa. suffered a ruptured aorta in Jan. 2016. Hear his story about how Charles M. Geller, M.D., chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Crozer-Keystone Health System, saved his life.

When lifestyle changes and medication are not enough, our cardiac specialists offer leading-edge surgical procedures for patients with complex or life-threatening heart disease.

Crozer-Keystone Health System has the longest history of cardiovascular care in Delaware County. Crozer-Chester Medical Center was the first hospital to perform open-heart surgery here. Since 1992, our dedicated heart surgery team has performed thousands of open heart surgeries with an excellent record of success.

Conditions Treated with Cardiothoracic Surgery

Our experienced surgeons are proud to offer a range of procedures to care for cardiac conditions, including:

  • Atrial Fibrillation (AFib): Patients with atrial fibrillation may be candidates for the Maze procedure, in which surgeons create scar tissue in the heart to block the abnormal electrical signals causing arrhythmia.
  • Congestive Heart Failure: Left ventricle reconstruction surgery may help patients who have suffered heart failure due to a left ventricle heart attack.
  • Coronary Artery Disease: The most common open-heart surgery is called "coronary artery bypass grafting." Crozer surgeons perform this procedure "off-pump" in most patients, without using the heart-lung machine.
  • Valvular Heart Disease: Heart valve repair or replacement surgery is a treatment option for valvular heart disease. Crozer-Keystone performs a specialized valve replacement surgery called the Ross Procedure, which offers a 97 percent success rate.
  • Vascular Disorders: Patients suffering from certain vascular problems can benefit from surgical reconstruction of a damaged artery or minimally invasive stenting procedure.

Cardiothoracic Procedures

Open heart surgery, Bypass Heart Surgery

Left Ventricular Reconstruction

Left ventricle reconstruction surgery may help patients who have suffered a left ventricle heart attack that has caused the left ventricle to enlarge, which in turn causes heart failure. During this procedure, a patient's left ventricle is restored to its original size and orientation to improve the heart's ability to pump blood.

Maze Procedure

Patients with atrial fibrillation may be candidates for the Maze procedure, a surgical intervention most often performed when a patient needs open heart surgery for another problem such as coronary artery disease.

The Maze procedure involves creating scar tissue in the heart which disrupts the path of abnormal electrical impulses. This keeps the heart’s electrical rhythm in a more ordered form. The Maze procedure may be done by making incisions, by freezing or burning the atrial tissue, or by disrupting the tissue with ultrasonic waves.

Open Heart Surgery

The most common open heart surgery is called "coronary artery bypass grafting." During this procedure, heart surgeons use healthy blood vessels from the patient's body to re-route blood flow around blocked coronary arteries. Since 1999, Crozer surgeons have performed this procedure "off-pump" in most patients, without using the heart-lung machine (cardiopulmonary bypass surgery).

Off-pump Coronary Artery Bypass

During cardiopulmonary bypass surgery, the heart-lung machine takes over the work of the heart and lungs while the heart is stopped for surgical repair. However, using the heart-lung machine may lead to problems for some patients during and after surgery. In off-pump bypass surgery, the heart-lung machine is not used. Rather than stopping the heart, technological advances and new kinds of operating equipment now enable surgeons to hold stable portions of the heart during surgery. With a particular area stabilized, the surgeon can then bypass the blocked artery.

The Ross Procedure

The Ross Procedure is a specialized surgical procedure used to replace a diseased aortic valve. Developed by British surgeon Dr. Donald Ross, the procedure is used on people with extensive aortic valve disease. These patients may experience congestive heart failure, chest pain, fainting, shortness of breath and rhythm disorders.

During a Ross Procedure, the surgeon replaces the patients' damaged aortic valve with their own pulmonary valve, rather than using tissue from an animal or using a mechanical valve. The advantage of using a patient's own tissue is that it eliminates the need for the patient to take blood-thinning medicine.

The success rate for the Ross Procedure is 97 percent and the long-term results have been excellent. The Ross Procedure is recommended for patients who have a 25-year life expectancy and who are not suffering from any other major illnesses.

Valve Repair and Replacement

Heart valve repair or replacement surgery is a treatment option for valvular heart disease. When heart valves become damaged or diseased, they may not function properly. Conditions which may cause heart valve dysfunction are valvular stenosis and valvular insufficiency (regurgitation).

Crozer-Keystone cardiac surgeons can repair or replace defective heart valves using the patient's own body tissues, in many cases, or new natural or mechanical valves. Crozer surgeons also perform emergency and scheduled repairs of life-threatening conditions of the aorta.

Some of the advanced procedures offered by Crozer-Keystone surgeons:

  • Aortic valve replacement and repair
  • Aortic root reconstruction and Ross Procedure
  • Ascending aorta and arch reconstruction
  • Mitral valve repair and replacement

Seamless Care for Heart Patients

Open heart surgeries are performed at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland. Yet our experienced heart specialists at all Crozer-Keystone hospitals — Crozer, Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park, and Springfield Hospital in Springfield — work closely together to provide seamless care for our heart patients, both day-to-day and during emergencies.

When a patient’s treatment requires a trip from one Crozer-Keystone hospital to another, a dedicated team of paramedics specially trained in critical care patient management goes with the patient in the ambulance. Everyone is fully informed of the patient’s condition, and care continues throughout the trip.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about cardiothoracic surgery or request an appointment, please call 1-866-95-PULSE (1-866-957-8573) or request an appointment online.

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