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Heart and vascular surgery

Cardiovascular surgeons work to repair damage done to the heart and blood vessels. Damage can be caused by heart diseases or disorders, including heart failure and congenital heart defects. Surgery is a vital part of treatment for many heart conditions.

HCAH_Specialty_Cardiology_HeartVascularSurgery

Heart and vascular center in Gainesville

The Heart & Vascular Center at HCA Florida North Florida Hospital handles even the most complex cardiovascular surgeries — with success rates above the national average.

Our heart and vascular team includes board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons, registered nurses and technicians with advanced training and a dedication to individualized patient care. This includes minimally invasive and robotic surgery, off-pump bypass and percutaneous procedures. We also offer a variety of thoracic procedures to treat diseases of the lungs and esophagus, such as lung cancer, pulmonary disease and esophageal cancer.

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Our cardiovascular treatments

The cardiac surgery team at our hospital performs between 500 and 600 procedures every year. While some patients only need one surgery, others may need more than one type of procedure. We provide compassionate, high-quality care throughout each patient's entire treatment plan and offer the latest in cardiovascular surgical treatment options.

Cardiovascular procedures we perform

We perform a wide range of surgeries on the heart and blood vessels, including:

Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)

A CABG procedure is a surgical option for patients with severe coronary artery disease that are experiencing decreased blood flow to the heart. This is often the result of a condition called atherosclerosis — the hardening of the coronary arteries due to a buildup of plaque in the walls of the arteries.

CABG is used to improve blood flow to the heart by bypassing the blockage in the coronary artery. The surgeon will harvest a healthy artery or vein from the body and connect it to the blocked coronary artery. The grafted artery or vein bypasses the blocked portion of the artery.

Our surgeons have achieved complication rates significantly lower than the national average and have reduced the time a patient spends on a heart-lung machine during surgery. This means patients benefit from a faster recovery and improved outcomes. HCA Florida North Florida Hospital received a 3-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for both isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in 2021, the highest possible rating given for excellence in this procedure.

Repair of congenital heart abnormalities

A congenital heart abnormality is a structural problem that is present at birth. Most of the time, these problems are repaired during infancy or early childhood. However, sometimes symptoms do not present themselves until adulthood. We offer treatment to adults experiencing these later-in-life symptoms.

We treat patients with a patent foramen ovale (PFO), which is a hole in the septum of the heart that did not close properly following birth. Our cardiologists use different devices to close a PFO depending on the size and location of the opening.

Our cardiologists also treat patients with atrial septal defects (ASD) — another type of congenital heart abnormality. During the procedure to close an ASD, the doctor inserts a catheter into a vein and threads it to the opening in the heart. The catheter is fitted with a tiny, umbrella-like device that is pushed out and positioned to plug the hole in the heart. Normal tissue will begin to grow over the device within six months.

If needed, PFOs and ASDs can be closed by our surgeons during another cardiac procedure, such as a CABG, valve repair or replacement or heart arrhythmia surgery.

Valve surgery

Damage to the heart's valves can be caused by several factors, such as infection or congenital abnormalities. These conditions can lead to scarring or thickening of the heart's valves, which affects the valves' abilities to open and close properly. This means the heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body, and over time, this extra work puts a strain on the heart.

Surgical repair or replacement of a damaged valve will allow the heart to pump efficiently and reduce the additional strain. Depending on a patient's condition, it may be necessary to replace a damaged valve with an artificial valve.

The structural heart team has been awarded the Transcatheter Valve Certification from the American College of Cardiology. Our hospital was the first accredited transcatheter valve center in Florida and the seventh in the U.S. for its excellence in structural heart care.

Our valve program offers complete options for valve intervention, including:

  • Catheter-based interventions
  • Mitral and aortic valve repair
  • Mitral chordal replacement
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
  • Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR)
  • Other minimally invasive and open surgical interventions
Other cardiac procedures
  • Atrial septal defect repair
  • Beating heart surgery
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG)
  • Heart valve surgery
  • Minimally invasive coronary bypass
  • Septal myectomy
  • Sternal reconstruction
  • Surgical procedures to treat heart failure
  • Surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation
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