Cardiac Surgery Treats Complex Heart Problems

Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery

If you are facing surgery for a heart problem, you’re probably apprehensive. But you’re in good hands at Penn Highlands. Our cardiovascular surgeons have the skills, training, and resources to provide you with exceptional care, even in the most complex of cases, including open heart surgery.

At Penn Highlands, our cardiologists will recommend the least invasive treatment possible to get you the best results. In some cases, that’s cardiac rehabilitation or medication. Other times, cardiac surgery is the best option.

Your heart doctor may refer you for surgery if you have multiple blockages in your heart arteries, severe atrial fibrillation, an aortic aneurysm, or heart valve problems.

Cardiac Surgery Offered at Penn Highlands

Cardiac surgery is often referred to as open heart surgery although many types of heart surgeries can now be performed using minimally invasive techniques. This allows cardiac surgeons to perform procedures through small incisions – or even through arteries and blood vessels— alleviating the need to open your chest to perform surgery.

Cardiac surgery is highly effective when performed by experienced cardiovascular surgeons like those at Penn Highlands. Our surgeons perform most types of cardiac surgery, including:

Coronary artery bypass graft is a type of heart surgery that restores blood flow when the coronary arteries are blocked by plaque buildup. Just as the name implies, surgeons use a vein or artery taken from another part of the body to go around the blockage. The bypass artery must be attached to the heart above the blockage, and then to the artery below the blockage. Because operating on a moving organ is more difficult, most bypass surgeries call for the heart to be stopped. This is the most common type of heart bypass surgery. But not everyone is well enough for that. Penn Highlands cardiovascular surgeons offer beating-heart coronary artery bypass, which only accounts for about 20 percent of bypass surgeries nationwide. Beating-heart bypass is preferable if you have had previous heart surgery, have an immune deficiency, or are on dialysis.

Complex aortic procedures are used to treat aortic aneurysms (bulges in the aorta) and dissections (tears in the aorta). Aortic dissection is highly dangerous and can be fatal. Penn Highlands cardiovascular surgeons perform these technically difficult procedures so patients can be treated in a timely manner, right here in Central Pennsylvania.

Endoscopic vein harvesting is the minimally invasive technique Penn Highlands cardiovascular surgeons use when removing a vein from another part of the body to use in coronary artery bypass surgery. Rather than removing the vein through a large incision, our surgeons access the vein through a small incision in order to reduce your risk of infection, pain, and bleeding.

Minimally invasive maze procedure is used to treat atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder that greatly increases your risk of stroke. During this procedure, our cardiovascular surgeons access the heart through several small incisions as opposed to one large, open incision. From there, they make cuts or use heat to scar the heart in specific areas to help control heart rhythm.

Valve repair and valve replacement is performed when the aortic valve, which regulates blood flow through the heart, stops working properly. Penn Highlands cardiovascular surgeons opt to repair this valve when possible even though it is more difficult than replacement. That is because repair has a lower risk of infection. It also reduces the chances you’ll have to take blood-thinner medication for the rest of your life.

Partnering for Better Heart Surgery

Through a partnership with Columbia HeartSource, the cardiac surgeons at Penn Highlands are able to confidently offer the latest procedures and techniques to treat heart problems. The partnership provides our surgeons access to the latest cardiac developments at Columbia University Medical Center and a network of more than 100 physician peers who can be consulted on complex cases if necessary.

If you need heart surgery, find an expert cardiovascular surgeon at Penn Highlands.

Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery at Penn Highlands

Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
  • Complex Aortic Procedures
  • Endoscopic Vein Harvesting
  • Minimally Invasive Maze Procedure
  • Valve Repair and Valve Replacement

Penn Highlands DuBois

100 Hospital Avenue
DuBois, PA 15801
814-371-2200

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