Banner Health Services  

Heart Procedures


In the case surgery is required to treat your heart disease, Banner Health offers extraordinary care from some of the most experienced and skilled cardiologists, surgeons, emergency physicians, clinicians and counselors.

Find a heart doctor near you

In some Banner hospitals, surgeons are using robotic surgery to help perform some minimally invasive cardiac procedures.

The following is a list of surgeries provided at many of Banner's heart treatment centers.

Types of Procedures

Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac catheterization (also called cardiac cath, coronary angiography or heart catheterization) gives your doctor a view of the heart valves, the heart muscle and coronary arteries at work. If your doctor finds a problem during a catheterization, he or she may treat it right away.

Document IconCardiac Catheterization Preparation Guide Cardiac Catheterization Preparation Guide

video icon Watch a video to learn more about cardiac catheterization 

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)
CABG surgery can restore a healthy blood supply to your heart by creating a new way for blood to flow around (bypass) a blocked coronary artery.

During your surgery, your surgeon will take a healthy blood vessel from another part of your body and graft it around the blockage. The number and type of bypass grafts you will have depend on the number of blockages you have and where they are located.

The blood vessels most often used for grafts are the mammary arteries, located in the chest, or the saphenous veins from the legs. You can do without these vessels because other vessels will take over their work. If your surgeon uses a saphenous vein, you will have an incision on the inside of your leg.

video iconWatch a video to learn more about coronary artery bypass graft surgery Cardiac Catheterization Preparation Guide

A defibrillator monitors the heartbeat. It gives out a high-energy electrical impulse to stop very fast and abormal heartbeats and returns the heart to a normal rhythm. It can be external (placed on a chest) or internal (surgically placed in the chest).

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)
The LVAD is an implantable mechanical device that circulates blood throughout the body when the heart is too weak to do it on its own. The device takes blood from a lower chamber of the heart and helps pump it to the body and vital organs, just as a healthy heart would.

The LVAD is inserted into the heart with a lead that attaches outside the body to a system controller, which continually checks its performance. The system controller attaches to a power source which must always remain connected.

The Maze procedure is a surgical treatment to correct atrial fibrillation. It is also often paired with heart valve replacement surgery.

Atrial fibrillation means that electrical impulses "get lost" in the top chambers (atria) of the heart, which makes them quiver instead of beating normally. During the Maze procedure, the surgeon cuts the areas in the atrium that give off the abnormal signals. As these cuts heal, scar tissue blocks the abnormal signals and forces electrical impulses in the right direction — just as the walls in a maze force movement in the right direction.

In some cases, the Maze procedure alone can restore normal heart rate. Sometimes, patients also need pacemakers.

Pacemaker implant
A pacemaker insertion is the implantation of a small electronic device in the chest (just below the collarbone) to help regulate electrical problems with the heart. When a problem develops, such as a slow heart rate, a pacemaker may be recommended to ensure that the heartbeat does not slow to a dangerously low rate.

video iconWatch a video about pacemakers Cardiac Catheterization Preparation Guide

Pericardial Window
The pericardium is a sac that surrounds the heart. Normally it holds just enough fluid to cushion and lubricate the heart muscle. Disease, infection or injury can cause fluid to build up in the pericardium. The pressure of this extra fluid can lessen the heart's ability to pump as it should. Pericardial window surgery can drain the extra fluid and help the heart pump effectively again.

After making a small incision below the end of your breastbone (sternum) or between the ribs on the left side of your chest to access the heart, the surgeon will make a small cut (window) in the pericardium so that the extra fluid can drain. The surgeon may place a catheter in the pericardial window so that fluid can continue to drain for a short period of time after the surgery.

Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve

Banner Health is one of the first in the nation to offer the Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve as an alternative to open-heart surgery for patients with aortic stenosis.

The Sapien Transcather Heart Valve can be placed without the invasive open heart surgery which was previously required to treat such patients. That feature makes heart valve replacement possible for those who may not have been strong enough to undergo open heart surgery.

To replace the diseased heart valve, the Sapien valve is compressed into the end of a long, thin, tube-like device called a delivery catheter. The delivery catheter, slightly wider than a pencil, is inserted into the femoral artery through a small cut in the leg and threaded to the site of the diseased valve. The heart valve is then released from the delivery catheter and expanded with a balloon and is immediately functional.

Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR)
TMR surgery can increase the blood supply to your heart. Your doctor may suggest you have TMR if medication, angioplasty or CABG surgery has not or cannot control your angina.

During TMR, your surgeon will use a laser to create new channels through the heart muscle of the left ventricle. These channels will allow blood from the left ventricle to move in and out of the heart muscle, giving it the oxygen-rich blood it needs.

Heart Valve Surgery
Heart valve surgery can improve the flow of blood through the heart's chambers and on to the body. Your doctor will discuss the different types of heart valves that are available if one or more of your own valves need to be replaced.

Your doctor may recommend either an artificial or tissue valve, depending on your specific condition and general health. There are advantages and disadvantages with both types:

  • Artificial (mechanical) valves are made from man-made materials.
    • Advantage: Mechanical valves are strong and last for many years.
    • Disadvantage: Blood clots can form more easily on mechanical valves than on tissue valves, so your doctor may prescribe Coumadin or another blood thinner for you to take every day.
  • Tissue valves are natural and soft.
    • Advantage: These valves are soft, and blood clots are less likely to form on them, so you may not have to take blood-thinning medication long term.
    • Disadvantage: Tissue valves are not as durable or long-lasting as the mechanical valves.

Listen iconListen to a podcast about valve replacement and valve repair surgery Cardiac Catheterization Preparation Guide

Learn more about valve replacement and repair Cardiac Catheterization Preparation Guide


 Atrial (ASD) or Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) Repair
An atrial septal defect is an abnormal opening in the wall (septum) that separates the top chambers of the heart (atria). A ventricular septal defect is an abnormal opening in the muscular wall separating the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles).

Your surgeon can close the opening by suturing it closed or by sewing a patch over the opening.

Ventricular Aneurysm Repair
A ventricular aneurysm occurs when a weakened area of muscle in one of the heart's ventricles balloons out. This can occur following a heart attack. Your doctor may advise surgical removal of the aneurysm to prevent blood clots from forming or to control symptoms of heart failure. During surgery, the surgeon will remove the weakened area then sew the walls of the ventricle back together. He or she may also patch the area to make the repair stronger. ventricular aneurysm repair

Aortic Aneurysm Repair
An aneurysm in your aorta can slow down or block blood flow to your lower body and cause back pain. Removing the aneurysm can protect you from the possibility of a blood clot forming or the aneurysm rupturing. The aneurysm can be repaired with stitching or grafting.

An aneurysm can occur lower in the abdomen. Your doctor may repair an aneurysm in this area surgically or by using a nonsurgical treatment called endoluminal graft (ELG).

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