St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center® is a national leader in cardiac surgery, operating the busiest program in New York State and maintaining one of the best success rates.
The Hospital’s seven cardiothoracic surgeons have the combined experience of over 20,000 open-heart procedures in the last 10 years alone and are expert in all types of heart surgery, from conventional, open-heart bypass to off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB), to the newest, minimally invasive valve procedures, including surgical techniques designed to treat certain cardiac arrhythmias or irregular heart rhythms. Two St. Francis surgeons perform nearly all of their cases off-pump, i.e., without stopping the heart or placing the patient on a heart-lung machine. And nearly 100 percent of cases of isolated heart valve repair are performed via a minimally invasive approach.
Studies consistently show that patients fare better when they go to physicians and hospitals that perform a high volume of procedures. In a recent analysis by The New York Times, St. Francis Hospital was ranked number one in the Tri-State area in cardiac surgery caseload and in the number of surgeons with the most experience. This experience provides the Hospital with a strong foundation on which to explore new approaches to care for patients who otherwise might not have had treatment options.
For example, St. Francis Hospital recently became one of the first centers to introduce mini-maze surgery to treat atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disturbance that can cause potentially fatal symptoms. St. Francis surgeons have also begun to explore the application of robotic surgical technology to cardiac surgery, important work that is taking place today but which promises even greater benefits and faster recoveries for patients tomorrow.
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- Coronary artery disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Valve disease
- Aortic stenosis
- Aortic insufficiency
- Aortic and arch aneurysms
- Aortic dissections
- Mitral valve regurgitation
- Mitral valve stenosis
- Complex thoracic aortic disease
- Atrial fibrillation
- Atrial septal defects
- Congestive heart failure
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Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: On and Off Pump
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is perhaps the best-known type of cardiac surgery. Using portions or grafts of a patient’s own veins or arteries, surgeons provide a new source of blood flow around blocked coronary arteries. In on-pump bypass surgery, the surgeon opens the patient’s chest, stops the patient’s heart, and places the patient on a heart-lung machine while the operation takes place. In the newer, minimal access, off-pump procedures, surgeons are able to operate directly on the beating heart.
Valve Repair/Replacement Surgery
Heart valve disease has potentially serious consequences for heart function, often blocking or reversing the natural flow of blood through the heart. To treat valve disease, surgeons either repair the patient's valve or replace it with a tissue or mechanical valve. Minimally invasive techniques are the preferred approach to valve repair surgery for appropriate candidates. In addition, through the Everest II clinical trial, a team at St. Francis is investigating a promising non-invasive, interventional approach to valve repair using the Evalve clip.
Atrial Fibrillation Surgery
An estimated two million Americans live with irregular heart rhythms, called arrhythmias. Atrial fibrillation is a form of arrhythmia that can lead to stroke, congestive heart failure, or cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart. In addition to treatments such as radiofrequency ablation at our world-renowned Arrhythmia and Pacemaker Center, St. Francis Hospital also offers the latest minimally invasive surgical treatments, such as mini-maze procedure, that can restore proper heart rhythm function.
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