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Cardiothoracic Surgery

If lifestyle changes and medication have not been enough to improve your cardiac health, our cardiac specialists can perform advanced surgical procedures to help patients who have complex or life-threatening heart disease.

Crozer-Keystone Health System has the longest history of cardiovascular care in Delaware County. Crozer-Chester Medical Center was the first hospital to perform open-heart surgery in the county, and since 1992, our dedicated heart surgery team has performed thousands of open heart surgeries with an excellent record of success.

Conditions Treated with Cardiothoracic Surgery

Our experienced surgeons offer a wide range of procedures to care for cardiac conditions, including:

  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib): Patients who have atrial fibrillation may be candidates for the Maze procedure, in which surgeons create scar tissue in the heart to block the abnormal electrical signals that can cause arrhythmia.
  • Congestive heart failure: Left ventricle reconstruction surgery may help patients who have suffered heart failure due to a left ventricle heart attack.
  • Coronary artery disease: The most common open-heart surgery is called "coronary artery bypass grafting." Crozer surgeons perform this procedure "off-pump" in most patients, without using the heart-lung machine.
  • Valvular heart disease: Heart valve repair or replacement surgery is a treatment option for valvular heart disease. Crozer-Keystone performs a specialized valve replacement surgery called the Ross Procedure, which has recorded a 97-percent success rate.
  • Vascular disorders: Patients suffering from certain vascular problems may benefit from surgical reconstruction of a damaged artery, or a minimally invasive stenting procedure.

Cardiothoracic Procedures

Left Ventricular Reconstruction

Left ventricle reconstruction surgery may help patients who have suffered a left ventricle heart attack that has caused the left ventricle to enlarge, which in turn causes heart failure. During this procedure, a patient's left ventricle is restored to its original size and orientation to improve the heart's ability to pump blood.

Maze Procedure

Patients who experience atrial fibrillation may be candidates for the Maze procedure, a surgical intervention that is most often performed when a patient needs open heart surgery for another problem, such as coronary artery disease.

The Maze procedure is also called surgical ablation and involves creating scar tissue in the heart which disrupts the path of abnormal electrical impulses. This keeps the heart’s electrical rhythm in a more ordered form. The Maze procedure may be done by making incisions, by freezing or burning the atrial tissue, or by disrupting the tissue with ultrasonic waves.

Open Heart Surgery

The most common open heart surgery is called "coronary artery bypass grafting." During this procedure, heart surgeons use healthy blood vessels from the patient's body to reroute blood flow around blocked coronary arteries. Crozer-Keystone surgeons have performed this procedure "off-pump" for most patients since 1999. That means they perform the surgey without using a heart-lung machine.

Off-pump Coronary Artery Bypass

During cardiopulmonary bypass surgery, doctors stop the patient's heart so they can make surgical repairs. A heart-lung machine takes over the work of patient's heart and lungs while their heart is stopped. Because the use of a heart-lung machine can lead to problems for some patients during and after surgery, physicians also use another method called "off-pump bypass surgery." By using advanced techniques and technology. surgeons are able to stabilze part of the patient's heart and bypass a blocked aretry with no need to a heart-lung machine.

The Ross Procedure

The Ross Procedure is a specialized surgical procedure used to replace a diseased aortic valve. Developed by British thoracis surgeon Donald Ross, FRCS, the procedure is used on people who have extensive aortic valve disease. These patients may experience congestive heart failure, chest pain, fainting, shortness of breath, and heart rhythm disorders.

During a Ross Procedure, surgeons replace the patients' damaged aortic valve with the patient's pulmonary valve, rather than using tissue from an animal or using a mechanical valve. The advantage of using a patient's own tissue is that it eliminates the need for the patient to take blood-thinning medicine.

The success rate for the Ross Procedure has been 97 percent, and the long-term results have been excellent. The Ross Procedure is recommended for patients who have a 25-year life expectancy and who are not suffering from any other major illnesses.

Valve Repair and Replacement

Heart valve repair or replacement surgery is a treatment option for valvular heart disease. When heart valves become damaged or diseased, they may not function properly. Conditions which may cause heart valve dysfunction are valvular stenosis and valvular insufficiency (regurgitation).

Crozer-Keystone cardiac surgeons can repair or replace defective heart valves using the patient's own body tissues, in many cases, or new natural or mechanical valves. Crozer surgeons also perform emergency and scheduled repairs of life-threatening conditions of the aorta.

Some of the advanced procedures offered by Crozer-Keystone surgeons:

  • Aortic valve replacement and repair
  • Aortic root reconstruction and Ross Procedure
  • Ascending aorta and arch reconstruction
  • Mitral valve repair and replacement

Seamless Care for Heart Patients

Open heart surgery is performed at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pa. However, our experienced heart specialists treat patients at all hsopsitals in the Crozer-Keystone Health System, including:

  • Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Upland, Pa.
  • Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Drexel Hill, Pa.
  • Taylor Hospital, Ridley Park, Pa.
  • Springfield Hospital, Springfield, Pa.

Specialists at the four hospitals work closely together to provide seamless care for our heart patients, both day-to-day and during emergencies.

When a patient’s treatment requires a trip from one Crozer-Keystone hospital to another, a dedicated team of paramedics specially trained in critical care patient management goes with the patient in the ambulance. Everyone is fully informed of the patient’s condition, and care continues throughout the trip.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about cardiothoracic surgery or request an appointment, please call 1-866-95-PULSE (1-866-957-8573) or request an appointment online.

From the Heart: Donald

Donald Peyton from Morton, Pa. suffered a ruptured aorta in January 2016. Hear him describe how Charles M. Geller, M.D., chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Crozer-Keystone Health System, saved his life.

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