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Cardiothoracic Surgery

Chest Cavity Surgical Procedures

A cardiothoracic surgeon is a physician specializing in surgical procedures of the organs of the chest, primarily the heart, lungs, and esophagus, and the bony structures and tissues of the chest cavity. These doctors may also be called cardiac surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, general thoracic surgeons, and congenital heart surgeons. Coronary artery disease is the most common disease treated by cardiothoracic surgeons, but they also treat lung cancer and diseases of the esophagus and chest wall.

Our cardiothoracic surgeons at Butler Health System also work in tandem with expert cardiologists to evaluate complex advanced valvular heart disease at the BHS Valve Clinic.

Our Cardiothoracic Surgical Services

Cardiothoracic surgery is necessary to treat numerous conditions. Our cardiothoracic surgeons use a variety of procedures to achieve optimal results, including open-chest operations, minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures, and robotic surgery.

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting - This operation is designed to bypass blockages that have developed in the arteries on your heart. This is intended to improve blood flow to your entire heart at rest as well as with exercise. The grafted blood vessel can come from a number of places in your body, most often an artery from under your breastbone or vein from your leg.
  • Heart Valve Surgery - Valve surgery is performed to repair or replace damaged valves in your heart. This is needed when valves become severely diseased, either leaking (insufficiency/regurgitation) or restricted (stenosis). If valve replacement is necessary, this can be done with either a mechanical or tissue valve. This decision will be made after a discussion with their surgeon.
  • Lung Cancer Procedures - Surgeries can be done that range from biopsy and staging to definitive treatment (resection). Your surgeon will decide the most appropriate approach for you and your treatment after interviewing, examining, and reviewing your testing.
  • Minimally Invasive (Endovascular) Repair of an Enlarged Aorta - Often aneurysms (abdominal and descending thoracic) are able to be repaired without open surgery. When endovascular repair is appropriate, it can be done via the arteries in your groin and often require no incisions. This allows for a much quicker recovery than traditional surgery. When deciding whether to recommend repair (and what approach is appropriate), your surgeon will review your testing and take into consideration the location & size of your aneurysm, how fast it has grown, and your overall health.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Procedures - When blockages develop in the arteries to our legs or arms and cause pain that interferes with your daily activities, there are numerous procedures to address the condition surgically. To restore blood flow to the affected area, a bypass or an endarterectomy can be performed. A bypass is when a graft (plastic tube or a vein taken from your leg) reroutes blood flow around the blockage. An endarterectomy is when the plaque buildup is removed from a specific artery. After interviewing, examining, and reviewing, your testing your surgeon will determine what the appropriate treatment is for you.
  • Removal of Carotid Plaques for Stroke Prevention - Carotid endarterectomy is surgery that removes plaque buildup from inside a carotid artery in your neck. This surgery is done to restore normal blood flow to the brain to prevent a stroke.
  • Replacement of Enlarged Aorta (Ascending Thoracic Aneurysm) - An ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm is a bulging of the aorta that is located at the aorta as it comes out of the heart. To repair an aneurysm in this location requires open surgery (an incision in the middle of your chest and going through your breastbone) to replace your aorta with a graft.
  • Traditional Thoracic Surgery - Procedures can be done for treatment of many lung and chest-related diseases. Sometimes procedures require open surgical techniques, and other times procedures can be done with a minimally invasive procedure known as a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). The decision of whether the surgeon makes open or minimally invasive surgery after interviewing, examining, and reviewing your testing. These procedures can treat and/or diagnose lung nodules, mediastinal lymphadenopathy, interstitial lung disease, and pleural effusions.
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) - This procedure is less invasive than open-heart surgery and allows a new valve to be inserted within the existing/diseased heart valve. The most common TAVR approach is to introduce the new valve through an artery in the groin.
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