If you’re facing a potential cardiovascular surgery, you want to know that you have experienced cardiovascular surgeons and specialists performing the procedure. Sutter’s heart and vascular centers specialize in complex surgical procedures.
Our hospitals have been listed among the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in the nation by Truven Health Analytics™ and Top 50 in the Country in Performing Cardiac Surgery by Consumer Reports. These centers also earned recognition for their cardiovascular surgery and postoperative care from organizations including the American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, Cardiac Institute of Quality, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the VHA. You can rest assured that you’ll have access to the highest level of care at any one of our cardiovascular care centers.
Heart Valve Surgery
The valves in your heart open and close to regulate the flow of blood throughout the organ. Sometimes blood flow from the heart is hampered by the narrowing of a heart valve (a condition called stenosis) or a damaged valve. Surgeons in the Sutter Health network can perform various procedures to widen the valve (valvuloplasty), repair the valve (port access valve surgery) or replace it.
Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery
Some procedures — including TAVR transcatheter valve replacement and mitral valve surgery — can be done without open heart surgery. Instead, flexible tubes called catheters are inserted using small incisions, and threaded up a vein to the heart valve. The cardiac specialists make the repair or replace the valve through the tube. Patients usually go home within three days and recover fully in two to three weeks.
Heart Bypass Surgery
The coronary arteries deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart. That means any blockage in the artery caused by a clot or plaque can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath or a heart attack. Heart bypass (or vascular) surgery restores blood flow by creating a new path for the blood to move. Usually, this is done through a procedure called coronary artery bypass graft surgery, in which a blood vessel from another part of your body is grafted to either side of the blockage. Your surgeon will typically use the saphenous vein in the leg (endoscopic vein harvesting), or the left or right internal mammary arteries in your chest (arterial bypass). Traditional heart bypass surgery requires the heart to be stopped through medication, with a pump used to circulate and oxygenate the blood during surgery. However, surgeons in the Sutter Health network now often use off-pump methods that allow the heart to continue pumping during surgery. The surgeon stabilizes only the location of the heart where the bypass is taking place. Talk to your doctor about whether this option is available for you.