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Heart Surgery

Baystate Health’s heart surgery teams are the best in western Massachusetts. We perform more than 80% of all cardiac surgeries in the region. So whether your surgery is planned or due to an emergency, we have the experience to care for you. Your heart is in good hands at Baystate Health.

Top Hospital in Western Massachusetts for Heart Bypass and TAVR

If you need heart surgery, you can rely on Baystate Health’s cardiovascular surgeons, specialists, and nurses to put your safety and health first. We will support you before, during, and after your surgery.

We perform a range of cardiac surgeries, including coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), thoracic aneurysm surgery, the maze procedure for cardiac arrhythmias, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), and heart valve surgery.

Our team of heart specialists offers:

  • The latest treatment options and equipment, including robot-assisted surgery and minimally invasive coronary artery surgery.
  • Personalized care centered around you and your needs.
  • A Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Program certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)

This surgery is often called “heart bypass” surgery and it’s the most common heart surgery. CABG improves blood flow to your heart. It’s done to treat coronary heart disease (CHD) and prevent heart attacks.

CHD occurs when a fatty substance (plaque) builds up in a coronary artery. Over time, the plaque hardens and makes it hard for oxygen-rich blood to flow through. If the plaque breaks away and forms a clot, the artery becomes blocked and blood flow stops. This causes a heart attack.

CABG treats blocked arteries. During the procedure, your surgeon will make a new path around (bypass) your blocked coronary artery using a healthy artery or vein from your chest, arm, or leg. The healthy vein is connected (grafted) to the blocked artery. This lets oxygen-rich blood flow to your heart muscle.

CABG is open-heart surgery. This means that your chest is opened and your surgeon works directly on your heart. It’s a complex surgery that requires a long recovery.

You may be a candidate for minimally invasive coronary artery surgery or robotically assisted heart surgery, where a procedure is done through a small cut. Your surgeon will discuss what options are best for you.

After heart bypass surgery, our team will work closely with you to support your healing and help you safely return to regular activities.

Heart valve surgery

Heart valve surgery is a procedure to treat heart valve disease, which happens when one of the valves in your heart isn’t working properly. When heart valve disease develops, you may experience shortness of breath or severe chest pain. It can lead to congestive heart failure.

Your surgeon may replace or repair your heart valve, depending on your symptoms and condition.

If the damaged heart valve cannot be repaired, there are currently two types of artificial heart valves that may be used to replace your valve:

  • Biologic (animal tissue) valves
  • Mechanical (metal or plastic) valves

You may also benefit from transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which is a newer option for patients who need aortic valve repair.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

If you need heart valve repair but open-heart surgery is not an option, your surgeon might recommend TAVR.

TAVR is typically done to treat aortic stenosis, a condition that limits blood flow in your aorta and makes it very hard to breath. It is a minimally invasive procedure, meaning it is not an open-heart surgery. This makes TAVR a safer option for people who have a higher risk for infection and complications.

During the procedure, a small tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin area. A replacement valve is then placed on a stent, which is pushed through the blood vessel and into the heart.

When the stent reaches your aortic valve, your surgeon inflates a balloon that pushes the blockage and the faulty valve against the aortic wall. This makes room for the new valve.

Thoracic aortic aneurysm surgery

Thoracic aneurysm surgery is done to repair a thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA). An aneurysm is a bulge in an artery caused by a weakened or damaged artery wall. TAAs occur in the part of your aorta that runs through your chest (thorax).

Damage to the aortic and thoracic vessels are often caused by injuries to your chest, such as from a car accident. They can also develop because of abnormal tissues or high blood pressure.

During thoracic aneurysm surgery, your surgeon repairs or removes the diseased aorta (the aneurysm). It may be replaced with an artificial artery that does not expand or enlarge.

Baystate Health’s cardiac surgeons repair thoracic aortic aneurysms using either open-heart surgery or what is called thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair (TEVAR). During TEVAR, repairs are made through small incisions within your blood vessels. Your surgeon will discuss the best option for you.

Maze procedure for irregular heartbeats

The maze procedure is used to treat cardiac arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation or flutter. It can be done during a valve repair or replacement operation or as its own procedure.

The maze procedure, also called surgical ablation, is done using small incisions, radio waves, freezing, or ultrasound energy to create scar tissue. Your surgeon creates a “maze” of scar tissue on the part of your heart that sends signals that control your heartbeat.