Types of Cardiac Surgery Procedures

If you need surgery for a heart condition, you want an expert team for the best possible care. At the Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute, our cardiothoracic surgeons have expertise in the most advanced heart surgery techniques. We perform open and minimally invasive procedures to treat people with all types of heart diseases.

Expertise in the latest cardiac surgical procedures

Our board-certified, fellowship-trained cardiothoracic surgeons have extensive expertise in advanced heart surgeries. Meet our team.

Your heart team carefully plans your surgery — a close collaboration that includes cardiac surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, physician assistants, imaging specialists and cardiac nurses. In some cases, we use cardiac CT with 3D reconstruction to create an exact model of your heart to plan surgery.

Doctors refer their patients to us for our surgical expertise and our ability to support the most critically ill patients. Our surgeons can perform complex surgeries that require multiple procedures, and we do revisions after previous heart surgeries, which can be challenging.

We provide comprehensive care, from evaluation through surgery to follow-up care, for all types and stages of heart disease. Learn more about the heart diseases and conditions we treat with surgery.

Minimally invasive heart surgery

Our heart surgeons have expertise in minimally invasive procedures to treat heart diseases. These procedures use smaller incisions than traditional, open-heart surgery and do not require opening the chest through a long incision.

The benefits of minimally invasive heart surgery include less pain, a quicker recovery and lower risk of infection.

Robotic heart surgery

When appropriate, we use robotic equipment during minimally invasive heart procedures for greater precision in tight spaces. Benefits of robotic heart surgery are similar to those of minimally invasive procedures.

Robotic surgical equipment helps our heart surgeons make movements that aren’t possible with the human hand. The robot's camera provides a better view of the heart than what is possible with the human eye.

Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery

In coronary artery disease, arteries that supply the heart with blood are narrowed or blocked. During coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, our heart surgeons reroute blood flow around artery blockages.

Our skilled surgeons perform coronary artery bypass graft surgery using minimally invasive and open techniques to treat CAD and heart attacks.

Surgery for aortic diseases

As your largest artery, the aorta has thick walls to withstand the force of blood pressure directly from your heart. But high blood pressure and other problems can weaken areas in the aorta’s walls, causing bulges, known as aneurysms. Aneurysms can rupture if they are not found and treated.

Our heart surgeons have expertise in advanced aortic disease procedures to repair aneurysms and prevent ruptures (dissections), which are life-threatening emergencies. We provide complete aortic repair with open and minimally invasive procedures and offer complex procedures, such as valve-sparing aortic root replacement. We work with a cardiologist, vascular surgeon and genetics specialist in our multidisciplinary aorta program for comprehensive care.

Surgery to implant ventricular assist devices (VADs)

Heart failure can result from many heart conditions and other health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and thyroid diseases. With heart failure, the heart gradually weakens and loses the ability to pump enough blood to support the body’s needs.

Our heart surgeons can implant devices that help the heart pump better. Left ventricular assist devices can be an alternative to heart transplantation or serve as temporary treatment if you are awaiting transplantation.

Heart transplantation

In the early stages of heart failure, cardiologists usually use medications to manage symptoms such as shortness of breath and fluid buildup. Heart surgery can also improve heart failure by correcting underlying conditions, such as a leaky heart valve.

If heart failure worsens, medications and surgery may not be enough to keep your heart functioning properly. Our heart surgeons are experienced in the latest heart transplant techniques, including multiple-organ transplants for people who need other organs.

Heart valve repair and replacement

Heart valve disease affects the valves that help blood flow through the heart’s chambers. Heart valves can be too narrow (stenosis) or too loose (regurgitation or leaking valve).

Our heart surgeons can widen narrowed valves and repair leaking valves so that they close properly. If the valve cannot be repaired, we can replace it with a synthetic or biological tissue valve. We offer:

  • Minimally invasive surgery: Your surgeon accesses your heart through small incisions between your ribs or in the middle of your chest. We insert long, specialized instruments through the incisions to repair or replace the valve.
  • Open-heart surgery: For some people, open-heart surgery is the best treatment option. Your surgeon makes a long incision through the breastbone to access the heart for treatment.
  • Catheter procedures: Our structural heart team specializes in minimally invasive procedures that use catheters (long, narrow tubes) that access the heart through a blood vessel. Read about heart valve repair and replacement, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

Cardiovascular hybrid operating room

People with complex heart and vascular conditions may need a specialized approach for heart surgery. In our hybrid operating room, surgeons can perform minimally invasive cardiac catheterization and traditional, open-heart surgery during the same procedure.

Our heart surgeons and interventional cardiologists can work together to treat a variety of heart diseases, including heart valve disease and aortic aneurysms. Learn more about our hybrid operating room.

Schedule a heart surgery consultation

Request an in-person or virtual appointment with a heart team member for evaluation. Our cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons work together to plan your treatment, including heart surgery options.

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