Cardiovascular Procedures

Your Heart Is in Good Hands

If you experience shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest and other symptoms of cardiovascular disease, do not delay care and have our heart specialists look at your heart. At Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, we use a patient-centered approach to help you recover and keep your heart healthy.

Our highly experienced cardiac team provides a complete range of surgical and cardiac services, including cardiovascular surgery, valve replacement, open heart surgery, endovascular and vascular procedures and minimally invasive surgeries. Expect us to be with you every step of your heart journey, from diagnosis to recovery.

What Is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon?

A cardiothoracic surgeon specializes in surgical procedures on the lungs, heart, esophagus and other organs found from your collarbone to your diaphragm. Below are the types of cardiothoracic surgeons, along with the cardiothoracic conditions they treat:

  • Cardiac or cardiovascular surgeons:
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Blockages in the heart valve(s)
    • Leaking heart valve(s)
    • Aneurysms of the large arteries in the chest
    • Heart failure
    • Atrial fibrillation
  • General thoracic surgeons:
    • Lung cancer
    • Severe emphysema
    • Esophageal cancer
    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
    • Hiatal hernias
    • Swallowing disorders such as achalasia
  • Congenital heart surgeons:
    • Atrial septal defects
    • Ventricular septal defects
    • Coarctation of the aorta
    • Hypoplastic left or right heart syndrome
    • Transposition of the great arteries

What Is a Heart Surgeon Called?

Your heart surgeon is also known as a cardiac surgeon, a type of cardiothoracic surgeon. A cardiac surgeon differs from a cardiologist. A cardiologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of many heart conditions. They receive medical training and follow your pre- and post-surgery journey to help you manage your heart condition through medication and lifestyle changes.

If you need surgery, your cardiologist will refer you to a cardiac surgeon who will be involved in your entire surgery process, from preparation to recovery. Cardiac surgeons can correct many heart issues such as:

  • Blocked heart vessels
  • Congenital or degenerative valve diseases
  • Diseases of the aorta
  • Heart tumor removal
  • Emergency surgeries involving the heart

As soon as you recover, you may not need to follow up with your surgeon. Cardiologists and cardiac surgeons work together to plan the correct surgical procedure for you.

What Is Cardiac Surgery?

Cardiac (heart) surgery, also known as cardiovascular surgery, aims to correct certain heart problems if other non-invasive treatments cannot be used or have not worked. Heart surgeries range from minor heart procedures (e.g., putting in a pacemaker) to major operations (e.g., heart bypass surgery) and medical emergencies (such as surgery for a heart attack).

Here are some cardiac surgery procedures we perform here at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital:

  • Aortic aneurysm repair
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery (CAB) and minimally invasive CAB
  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG)
  • Endoscopic vein harvesting
  • Off-pump coronary bypass graft surgery (OPCAGB)
  • Resection of myxoma
  • Repair of an atrial septal defect
  • Repair of a ventricular septal defect

A heart surgeon's approach to performing cardiac surgery will depend on your heart problem, general health and other factors. Types of heart surgery include:

Traditional or Open-Heart Surgery

In open-heart surgery, the surgeon cuts open the chest to access the heart. A cardiopulmonary bypass machine will be connected to the patient to pump the heart and drain blood from this organ continuously. This machine allows for bloodless heart surgery.

Off-Pump Heart Surgery

Off-pump heart surgery is open-heart surgery without using a bypass machine. A surgical team member keeps the heart steady using a device while the surgeon operates.

Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

In minimally invasive heart surgery, a surgeon makes minor cuts on the chest’s side between the ribs. A patient may or may not have to be on a bypass machine during the operation. This procedure is used for maze and bypass surgeries, ICD or pacemaker insertion, heart valve repair and graft harvesting.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Robotic-assisted surgery is a minimally invasive surgery where a surgeon controls surgical tools placed in robotic arms. A surgeon uses a computer to guide these surgical tools, allowing for an accurate operation.

Other Cardiac Procedures

Your heart has four valves which ensure that blood flow through the heart moves in the right direction. A normal, healthy valve should open properly so blood can completely leave the heart chamber. The valve should also close correctly so that blood flows forward instead of backward. If one or both functions fail, our heart surgeons may perform any of the following depending on your diagnosis:

Cardiac Valve Surgery

  • Aortic valve repair or replacement
  • Mitral valve repair or replacement
  • Pulmonary valve repair
  • Repair of valves that have previously been operated on
  • Tricuspid valve repair

Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery

  • Aortic valve repair or replacement
  • Mitral valve repair or replacement
  • Mini-maze for atrial fibrillation
  • Repair of valves that have previously been operated on

Vascular and Endovascular Procedures

We have vascular doctors who can treat conditions affecting your vascular system consisting of the heart, veins, capillaries and arteries. They can perform both vascular and endovascular surgery procedures.

Endovascular surgery is less invasive than vascular surgery and is designed to treat problems affecting the blood vessels, such as an aneurysm. Patients may undergo vascular surgery if non- or less invasive treatments cannot treat their vascular disease. Here are the vascular and endovascular procedures we offer:

  • Carotid surgery (endarterectomy)
  • Carotid stenting
  • Endovascular stent repair of abdominal and thoracic aneurysms
  • Endovascular stenting for peripheral vascular disease
  • Femoral popliteal bypass
  • Pulse volume recording (PVR)
  • Renal dialysis fistulas
  • Thrombolytic therapy

Blood Conservation Program

Our Blood Conservation Program aims to minimize blood loss using special blood conservation methods. A patient who wants medical care without using donor blood may request this program.

Committed to Your Heart Care

At Fountain Valley Regional Hospital in Orange County, CA, our highly experienced cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons and other staff are dedicated to your heart health, from diagnosis to treatment. Here, you can access our full range of surgical services, such as cardiac, vascular and thoracic procedures.

We use non-invasive and digital imaging technology to accurately diagnose our patients' heart problems. Our operating rooms have advanced surgical and 3D imaging capabilities. Let us help you stay on top of your heart health. Contact one of our heart specialists today.

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