Surgery

Surgical

Surgeons with the Nebraska Heart Institute perform a variety of procedures to treat cardiac, vascular, and thoracic diseases. Please scroll down the page to read each procedure’s description.

Coronary Bypass

Coronary artery bypass operations have become the gold standard to restore health and vigor to people suffering from coronary artery disease. The surgeons of the Nebraska Heart Institute perform single-vessel as well as multi-vessel bypass procedures to channel blood flow to coronary arteries.

During traditional heart bypass surgery, a heart-lung machine is used to provide circulatory function. Since 1997, in addition to this traditional method, the surgeons of NHI have been performing the procedure off-pump. By utilizing specialized stabilizing devices, surgeons can work on specific areas of the heart while the rest of the heart continues to beat and provide support to the patient. Benefits of this procedure include faster recovery time and less chance of infection, neurological disorders, and blood clots.

Transmyocardial revascularization (TMR)

Transmyocardial revascularization (TMR) is another procedure surgeons may utilize to restore blood flow to the heart and relieve chest pain. The procedure, which involves a laser to create new channels, may be used in place of or in addition to traditional bypass.

Vascular Disease

In addition to cardiac abnormalities, surgeons at NHI treat peripheral vascular diseases. Atherosclerosis occurs in the peripheral arteries as well as the coronary arteries. To aid surgeons in identifying the amount and location of blockages, Doppler ultrasound testing is performed. Arms, legs, and carotid arteries are evaluated to determine the speed and direction of blood flow.

Valvular Procedures

If initial treatment with medications does not correct problems with the heart’s valves, then surgical treatment is used to prevent possible or further damage to the heart muscle. Possible causes of valvular disease include birth defects, bacterial endocarditis, Scarlet Fever, and Rheumatic Fever.

Treatments performed at NHI include:

  • Valvuloplasty
  • Valvular Repair
  • Valve Replacement

There are two types of valves that NHI surgeons use: mechanical and biological. The choice as to which valve to be used is based on the patient’s age, physical condition, and lifestyle.

Peripheral Angiography

Another diagnostic test that may be performed is peripheral angiography. Similar to a heart catheterization, the procedure uses dye contrast to identify narrowing or blockages.

Surgeons use the following treatment methods to improve blood flow to peripheral vascular areas:

  • Thrombectomy
  • Stents
  • Atherectomy
  • Angioplasty
  • Bypass Surgery
  • Aneurysm Grafting

Whether it’s cardiac, vascular or thoracic disease, the surgeons of NHI work closely with an entire team of referring physicians, nurses and rehab specialists in diagnosing and treating patients, so they can return to an active and healthy life.

MINI-MAZE

A stand-alone minimally invasive surgical procedure for atrial fibrillation (AF) is now an option for a wider range of patients. AF is a progressive, debilitating heart arrhythmia and is associated with a five-fold risk of stroke. Recent advances in devices are expected to increase the effectiveness of this procedure in chronic AF sufferers, making it a viable treatment option for a broader group of patients.

Cardiac Abnormalities

In the area of open-heart surgery, NHI physicians utilize the latest procedures and instruments to treat heart disease; more than 1,500 open-heart procedures annually. Procedures include treatment for blockages in the heart’s blood vessels; repair or replacement of heart valves; and repair of heart muscle due to birth defects, aneurysms, or disease.