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Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery

Community Healthcare System surgeons are among the Midwest’s most experienced heart specialists. They provide a full-spectrum of cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgical services including the latest minimally-invasive techniques, off-pump bypass procedures and innovative treatments for complex heart, valve and vascular conditions. They work collaboratively with the health professionals at Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center to offer a complete treatment program that includes disease management and support essential to help cardiac patients live well.

Emerging research indicates that repairing heart valves and other cardiac conditions often offers the best long-term outcomes as well as eliminates the lifetime use of blood-thinning medications. Our surgeons are continuously exploring new approaches to care for patients with heart and valve disease, in particular for those who might not have had other treatment options. Our teams use a combination of techniques to offer treatment options that are best for the patient. These include:

  • Open Heart Surgery
  • Beating Heart Coronary Bypass
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
  • Hybrid Coronary Revascularization
  • Minimally-invasive (small incision) valve surgery
  • Thoracotomy
  • TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement)
  • Sutureless Valve Replacement
  • Aortic Aneruysm Repairs

Patients also benefit from a dedicated nurse navigator who guides them through every step in the process. We understand that heart surgery can be overwhelming for patients and their families. Our team is prepared to not only help you through surgery, but also support you in making important lifestyle changes to stay heart healthy.

Specialists Treating Heart and Vascular Disease

Some of the area’s leading surgeons and interventional and structural cardiologists have come together with our hospitals, bringing their expertise in structural heart and valve disease, minimally invasive heart surgeries, heart assist devices and many complex procedures. Through this collaborative effort, the Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute can offer comprehensive solutions to patients with valve disease and complex heart conditions.

Conditions Treated:

Atrial Fibrillation (Afib)

Atrial fibrillation, or A-fib, is a heart rhythm that consists of an irregular, fast upper chamber heart rate. Concerns with atrial fibrillation include:

  • fast heart rate which can cause discomfort;
  • loss of coordinated rhythm that lowers the efficiency of the pump
  • stasis of blood flow in the upper chamber can cause clots and lead to stroke or travel to other parts of the body.

The traditional treatment for atrial fibrillation is to control the rate of the heart rhythm through anticoagulation (blood thinners). Electrophysiologists can also treat atrial fibrillation in the cath lab through an ablation procedure.

Our physicians are among the first in Northwest Indiana to use advanced implantable technology, called Watchman®, which offers an alternative to long-term blood-thinning warfarin therapy to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with A-Fib not caused by a heart valve issue.

Valve Disease

Heart valves can become dysfunctional by becoming narrowed. This is usually caused by fibrosis (scarring) or calcification. The valves can also become insufficient or leaky. This occurs because of weakened leaflets, torn supporting structures or dilated annulus (surrounding ring to which valve attaches). Valve disease can occur in the Tricuspid, Pulmonic, Mitral and Aortic valves. Symptoms range from mild to severe, vary from person to person and can be different based on the valve involved. Depending on the significance of the disease, some conditions do not require surgical intervention while others do.

Heart Arrhythmia

Our cardiologists specially trained in electrophysiology, or heart rhythm, are highly-skilled in treatment of irregular heartbeat conditions. Treatment methods using ablation include cryoablation, radiofrequency and high intensity ultrasound.

For advanced heart care close to home, search the “Find a Doctor” tab to find the right doctor for your condition or call 219-836-3477 for our free physician directory service.