St. Mark’s Hospital is expert at performing a variety of heart surgeries.

Open heart surgery refers to procedures where the surgeon opens the chest and surgery is performed on the muscles, valves or arteries of the heart. Patients can be put on cardiac bypass, moving blood away from the heart allowing the surgeon to operate. Examples of open heart surgery include implantation of a new valve, the maze procedure, a Coronary Artery bypass Graft (CABG) or repair of damaged or abnormal areas of the heart.

Today, many new heart procedures can be performed with only a small incision.

If you have a heart surgery scheduled, pre-register online.


Surgical or nonsurgical procedures are often necessary to treat cardiovascular conditions. Some may be scheduled electively while others are performed urgently in response to a cardiovascular event or results from a diagnostic procedure that indicate a cardiovascular event is imminent.

There are a range of procedures and surgeries that may be needed to treat Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is used to restore blood flow to the heart, particularly if there are severe or multiple blockages in several coronary arteries. In this procedure, surgeons reroute the blood flow around the blockages by grafting vessels from another part of the body into the coronary circulation.

Heart Valve Replacement or Repair

There are several ways to treat a problem heart valuve. One of them is through surgery to repair or replace the damaged valve. Heart valve surgery is performed with one of three types of incisions: traditional surgery, mini incision or minimally invasive surgery. Surgeons will either repair or replace the damaged valve with a new mechanical or biological (made from human or animal tissue) valve.

In heart valve replacement, damaged valves (that are either too stiff to allow blood to flow freely or too leaky to keep blood flowing in one direction) are replaced with artificial or transplanted valves. Doctors do open-heart surgery to remove the damaged valve and suture in the replacement valve.

St. Mark’s Hospital Cardiac Surgeons team up with interventional cardiologists to perform minimally invasive value replacements in the advanced hybrid operating room. An example is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).

TAVR involves replacing a damaged valve. But this is minimally invasive surgery that involves inserting the replacement valve through a small incision in the chest or through an artery in the leg.

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms

Thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) make up 25 percent of all aneurysms and occur in the thorax or chest. TAAs are not detected often and do not cause significant symptoms in the early stages. When a TAA enlarges, it can interfere with the functioning of the aortic valve. When the aortic valve cannot close properly because of a TAA, blood can flow backwards into the heart causing significant heart damage.

Frequently TAAs contain clots and debris which can be shed into the blood stream causing damage to other organs as well. Thoracic aneurysms can also rupture with almost all patients dying as a result. In fact, in half of the patients with TAA, aneurysm related complications are the cause of death.

Maze Procedure

Maze is a surgical procedure for the heart. By using minimally invasive techniques, incisions are made through the electrical system of the upper chambers of the heart. The chambers are called the atria. Maze is done to treat atrial fibrillation. Fibrillation is abnormal beating of the heart muscle. It is caused by erratic electrical impulses that travel through the heart muscle. These impulses can cause the chambers to beat too fast. This can decrease blood flow through the heart. Atrial fibrillation can also cause blood clots to form in the heart that can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.

Maze is used to treat severe cases that did not respond to medications or other procedures. Electrical impulses cannot flow through scar tissue. By creating specific patterns of scar tissue, the surgery creates a pathway for healthy impulses and blocks erratic impulses. The scars may look like a maze.