Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis or CAD), or ischemic heart disease, is caused by the buildup of plaque in the lining of the arteries of the heart, restricting blood flow to the heart muscle, producing chest pain. A sudden blockage results in a heart attack. The latest cardiac imaging tools including the 64 Slice Cardiac CT (computed tomography) allow Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians to assess risk and visualize abnormalities. When an intervention is required, Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians have extensive expertise in performing minimally invasive coronary arterial bypass graft (MICS CABG) procedures; often in conjunction with percutaneous catheter-based interventions (PCI) for placing stents (mesh tubes); resulting in reduced trauma, shorter recovery times, and better outcomes for the patient. Studies are underway into new methods of surgical anesthesia in order to improve post-operative patient comfort and recovery.
Heart Valve Disorders
Heart valve disorders are due to either narrowing (stenosis) or leakage (regurgitation or insufficiency). Valvular disease can be congenital (from birth) or acquired over time and is commonly found in either the mitral or aortic valves. Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians work with the latest diagnostic tools such as the 3D TEE (three dimensional echocardiogram); Cardiac MRI; and minimally invasive heart catheterization to identify valvular defects. When medication is no longer sufficient in managing valve disorders, a valve repair or replacement is required. A range of catheter-based and surgical procedures are used for valve repairs, including minimally invasive mitral and aortic valve surgery, with traditional open heart procedures normally used for valve replacement. Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians are at the forefront of efforts to develop new, less invasive percutaneous valve repair and replacement techniques.
Heart Rhythm Disorders
Heart rhythm disorders, or arrthymias (abnormal electrical activity in the heart) can be benign or life threatening. Implanted devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators (ICDs) are one option for resynchronizing heart rhythm. Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians work in interdisciplinary teams to determine if more invasive treatments may be appropriate. Atrial fibrillation is one common, disabling condition that can be effectively treated with either a catheter-based or minimally invasive surgical ablation (tissue disabling) procedure. At the leading edge of technology, the Hansen Medical Sensei Robotic Catheter System is now being employed with stereotaxis magnetic guidance and 3-D mapping systems to maximize the safety and efficacy of ablation procedures including more complex hybrid endovascular and surgical procedures. Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians routinely perform surgical ablations using the minimally invasive Minimaze procedure which avoids the need for a sternotomy; resulting in fewer complications and accelerated patient recovery.
The aorta is the main conduit for blood leaving the heart to all parts of the body. Disorders requiring surgical repair include congenital defects, dissections (tears), and aneurysms (bulging). Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians have developed state-of-the-art capabilities and programs for the treatment of aortic disorders including combinations of catheter-based and minimally invasive procedures for complex repairs of the aortic arch; and repairs of thoracoabdominal aneurysms. Robotic procedures are also being explored for both minimally invasive and endovascular aortic procedures. For patients experiencing signs of aortic dissection, the Methodist Acute Aortic Treatment Center is a life-saving innovation that focuses on immediate and comprehensive treatment.
Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians are leaders in the management and treatment of the various stages of cardiomyopathy (heart failure). An interdisciplinary approach is taken to the evaluation of medical and surgical options for each patient. For patients with more advanced heart failure who become candidates for heart transplantation, Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians have researched and developed life-saving options including the latest advancements in left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). The LVAD team coordinates all aspects of the patient´s treatment and follow-up care. Surgical patients also benefit from the latest advancements in surgical techniques and a leading cardiac intensive care unit. Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians are conducting groundbreaking studies in stem cell therapy for regeneration of damaged heart muscle.
Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians have developed new, innovative methods for treating heart tumors. This is a cooperative program with UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. In addition to conventional removal of cardiac malignancies, Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates physicians are worldwide pioneers in heart autotransplantation, where the heart is removed, repaired, and returned to the patient´s body.