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Cardiac Surgery at Danbury Hospital

When you need heart surgery, you can count on the cardiac surgeons at Danbury Hospital’s Praxair Heart and Vascular Center for a full range of cardiac procedures using today’s most advanced techniques.

Their expert capabilities include aortic aneurysm repair, bypass surgery, and valve replacement and repair. Our facility offers sophisticated operating suites equipped with the latest technology, and your care is enhanced by outstanding anesthesia, perfusion and nursing teams.

Our skilled cardiac surgeons perform the following procedures:

Aortic aneurysm and dissection repair

An aortic aneurysm is a bulge or weakening in the wall of a blood vessel. Although aneurysms can form in any blood vessel, they occur most commonly in the aorta. If the aneurysm is large or causing difficulties, the weakened part of the vessel can be surgically removed and replaced with a graft of artificial material. In some cases, a newer minimally invasive procedure to place a stent graft can avoid open-chest or abdominal surgery.

Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)

In this procedure, one or more blocked coronary arteries are “bypassed” using a blood vessel graft (usually from your own arteries and veins) to restore the normal flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. A heart-lung machine temporarily takes over the function of the heart and lungs during surgery.

Typically the blood vessels that are grafted are harvested from your leg using minimally invasive techniques.

Minimally invasive surgery (MID-CAB, valve surgery)

A MID-CAB is a bypass around a blockage in a heart artery that can be done while the heart continues to beat (so no heart-lung machine is required). This approach also uses a smaller incision. Surgeons generally use a tissue stabilization system to immobilize the area of the heart where they need to work.

Minimally invasive valve surgery also involves a smaller incision, and a modified version of the heart-lung machine is used. Your surgeon will determine what approach is appropriate for you.

Valve replacement and repair

Various types of valve disease can result in either valvular stenosis (a narrowing of the valve that limits the amount of blood that can flow through the valve), or valvular insufficiency (the valves do not close completely and blood leaks backward across the valve). Your surgeon makes the decision to repair or replace a valve that is not working correctly based on your unique situation.

In a valve repair, which typically involves the mitral or tricuspid valve, weakened portions of the valve are removed. The valve is then strengthened and shortened to alleviate the leakage. Mitral valve repair is almost always preferred to mitral valve replacement.

In the case of aortic or mitral valve replacement, options include a mechanical valve (manufactured from metals and plastics), or a  bioprosthetic valve, made from human or animal tissue. Your surgeon will determine which valve is best suited for your condition.

Ventricular assist device (VAD)

A VAD is a mechanical pump that helps a weakened heart pump blood throughout the body. It does not replace the heart, but assists the patient's own heart to pump blood, decreasing the work of the ventricle. It can be used as a bridge to transplant for people awaiting a heart transplant, or it can be used as a bridge to recovery, while a patient’s heart grows stronger.