Cardiothoracic Surgery Program

Find More Cardiothoracic Surgery Treatments at Emory

Emory Healthcare cardiothoracic surgeons offer more treatments than any other hospital in Georgia. We use the latest cardiothoracic surgery techniques to help you heal faster, feel less pain and enjoy a healthier heart.

Emory Cardiothoracic Surgeries for Quicker Healing, Healthier Hearts

In addition to developing innovative methods of performing cardiac surgery, the members of Emory's Cardiothoracic Surgery Team are international experts and teachers of such minimally invasive procedures as off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery and robotically assisted, minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery, the least invasive method of bypass surgery currently available.

Emory’s cardiac surgeons offer more procedures than any other service in Georgia, including:

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

Coronary artery bypass surgery directs blood around hardened or narrowed arteries to help the heart receive oxygen-rich blood. During coronary artery bypass surgery, the surgeon makes an incision through your chest and sternum (the center bone that connects your ribs). During surgery, a heart-lung machine pumps your blood for you so that your heart can remain still during surgery. The surgeon will take a vein or artery from your chest, arm or leg and sew it onto your narrowed artery. This lets blood flow around the blockage and into your heart.

Robotically Assisted, Minimally Invasive Bypass Surgery

Fewer than 10 hospitals in the country offer this surgery — and Emory is one of them. This latest bypass surgery uses robotic technology and tiny incisions between the ribs. This avoid a large incision in the sternum. Robotic-assisted bypass surgery reduces risks for bleeding, infection and complications from the heart-lung machine. Recovery is much faster, allowing you to leave the hospital in less than two days. Most patients are back to their normal lives in just two to three weeks instead of months.

Hybrid Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery & Stent Placement

This surgery uses the same robotic techniques as minimally invasive bypass surgery. However, it also allows an interventional cardiologist to place a stent (a tiny mesh tube) into an artery during the same procedure. The stent keeps your artery open so blood can flow. This hybrid surgery lowers your risks of complications compared to having multiple procedures

Complex Aortic, Mitral and Tricuspid Valve Surgery

Valve surgery fixes narrowed or leaking heart valves. Our surgeons perform minimally invasive heart valve repair and replacement procedures, such as:

  • Balloon valvuloplasty
  • Transcatheter aortic valve implantation

Sometimes traditional open surgery is needed. When possible, we repair valves without replacing them. If you do have to have a valve replacement, we offer mechanical (metal) valves and bioprosthetic valves (made from animal tissue).

Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair or Replacement

Minimally invasive mitral valve repair or replacement means you’ll have a few small incisions instead of one large one. We use minimally invasive approaches whenever possible to reduce your risks of bleeding, pain and infection.

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Repair

Most damaged aortic valves must be replaced, but in some cases, the valve can be repaired. Aortic valve repairs include separating flaps that are fused together, repairing holes in valve flaps and or reshaping the valve. During these procedures, we make small incisions between your ribs or through the upper sternum (breastbone) and insert specialized tools. Minimally invasive aortic valve surgery reduces blood loss and speeds recovery.

Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Placement

While a heart transplant is needed for end-stage heart failure, only about 2,200 heart transplants take place each year due to the low number of donors. Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) help patients who are waiting for heart transplants by keeping their heart beating well. As part of a clinical trial, we also implant continuous-flow LVADs for patients who don’t want or can’t have a heart transplant.

Surgical and Endovascular Treatment of Aortic Aneurysm

Emory surgeons can fix aortic aneurysms in minimally invasive ways. They insert a small tube (catheter) through the artery in your groin and guide it up into the aneurysm. They then can place a stent, strengthening your aorta. You only have to stay in the hospital for one or two days after this procedure. However, not all patients can have a minimally invasive treatment. Some patients will need a traditional open surgery, which can take longer to heal from. No matter which surgery you have, you will need to have long-term care to make sure your aorta stays strong.

Surgical Treatment of Aortic Dissection

If your aorta tears (dissects), you need lifesaving surgery. During surgery, we replace the damaged part of the aorta with a tube graft (polyester tube) to stop bleeding and allow blood to flow normally. Depending on where your aorta tears, you may be able to have a minimally invasive procedure to place the stent and strengthen your aorta.

Valve-Sparing Aortic Root Replacement

If you have an aortic aneurysm or dissection near your aortic valve, you need a special type of surgery to make sure the valve is not damaged. During valve-sparing aortic root replacement, a heart-lung machine pumps your blood for you so that your heart is still. The surgeon removes the damaged part of your aorta. Your surgeon then sews a tube graft (a woven polyester tube) onto the outside of the aortic valve to replace the damaged section of the aorta. Because the aortic valve remains intact, you will likely be able to avoid taking pills that prevent your blood from clotting.
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