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Open Heart Surgery

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Open heart surgery is when the chest is cut open in order to perform surgery on the muscles, arteries, and valves of the heart. Open heart surgery includes coronary artery bypass surgery, a procedure to improve blood flow in an artery connected to the heart, and heart valve surgery, performed to repair or replace defective valves in arteries leading to the heart.

Open Heart Surgeries

Our cardiothoracic surgeons perform surgery on the heart and large blood vessels to treat heart disease, or help lower the risk of heart attack or heart failure when interventional cardiology procedures, such as heart stenting, may not be the best option. We perform:

  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) – during coronary artery bypass surgery, a patient’s own arteries or veins are used to bypass coronary artery blockages in order to improve blood flow to the heart
  • Heart valve surgery – diseases of the aortic, mitral, and tricuspid valves can be treated with surgical valve replacement or repair, often in combination with CABG surgery
  • Surgery for thoracic aortic aneurysm – when a section of the aorta becomes damaged or torn, we may replace it with a synthetic graft. This procedure is often combined with heart valve surgery, or CABG surgery
  • Heart tumor removal – rare heart tumors, such as myxoma or papillary fibroelastoma, may require surgery to successfully remove
  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib) MAZE procedure – atrial fibrillation is a disorder of the heart’s natural rhythm that may cause stroke, blood clots, heart failure, or other heart conditions. A modified MAZE procedure may be performed to treat AFib in patients that also require heart valve surgery or CABG surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon will create a pattern of scar tissue (which can’t carry electricity) in the upper chambers of the heart, which will interrupt the stray electrical impulses that cause AFib
  • Advanced heart failure – patients with advanced lung or heart failure can be placed on life-saving ECMO therapy by using minimally invasive techniques to allow recovery. We work closely with the University of Rochester and Columbia Presbyterian to support patients with these conditions

Open Heart Surgery Recovery

Following your surgery, you should expect to spend several days in the hospital, then recuperate at home for about six weeks before you return to work. Bassett Healthcare Network’s cardiology team will help create a plan for your cardiac rehabilitation and gradual return to normal activity. 

Open heart surgery is an effective part of our cardiac treatment and surgery program, but maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent future heart problems.

Ask Your Primary Care Practitioner About Open Heart Surgery

If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, or are at risk for heart attack or heart failure, ask your primary care practitioner for a referral to learn if an open heart surgery may be the best treatment for you.

Bassett Healthcare Network offers open heart surgery in Central New York, at our hospitals in Cooperstown, Cobleskill, Herkimer, Delhi, Little Falls, and Oneonta.