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Cardiac Surgery

Heart Surgeries in Monterey County

Restoring a heart to prime condition can be difficult, and sometimes surgery is required to fix a heart that has been ravaged by disease. Cardiothoracic surgery is used for many purposes, including recovering from a heart attack, repairing heart valves or even replacing a heart altogether. Salinas Valley Health boasts a team of highly experienced and competent heart surgeons. Patients are placed in the care of well-trained professionals who take every precaution necessary to avoid infection and surgery complications.

Types of Heart Surgery

The heart is composed of four main areas: right ventricle, left ventricle, right atrium and left atrium. A cardiothoracic surgeon must be intimately familiar with each of these areas in order to locate and treat a heart condition. Many people find it reassuring to learn more about what is involved in their heart surgery. Below we provide an overview of some common heart surgeries. If you feel like it will put you at ease, ask your doctor to go over any procedures with you so you can understand all the details.

Overview of common heart surgeries:

  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) – More commonly referred to as bypass surgery, this operation is used to treat arteries that have been narrowed and hardened by plaque from cholesterol. There are a few ways to facilitate the operation, all of which have the end result of rerouting blood away from the blocked artery and channeling it through healthy veins.
  • Arrhythmia treatments – An arrhythmia is the medical term used to describe an irregular heartbeat. There are several surgical treatments for this condition, but the most common is the installation of a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). These are devices placed inside the chest that send out mild electrical shocks to the heart when they detect an irregularity.
  • Myotomy & myectomy – These operations are used to remove enlarged portions of the heart wall. Enlarged hearts are the result of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a disease that reduces blood flow to and from the heart.
  • Heart transplant – When all else fails to treat heart disease, doctors will recommend a heart transplant. In this operation, a surgeon replaces a diseased heart with a healthy one from a compatible donor. Due to the rarity of heart donors, this surgery is often used as a last resort treatment.