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Heart surgery

Your trusted source for heart surgery

At Novant Health, our expert team of cardiologists, surgeons, vascular specialists, nurses and other healthcare professionals use an integrated approach and the latest technology to deliver the most advanced care. Our cardiac surgery programs in Charlotte and Winston-Salem are ranked among the highest in the nation with a 3-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Only 13.5 percent of all cardiac surgery hospitals in the U.S. received this top ranking. You can rest easy knowing that you are placing your trust in an experienced, dedicated team.

Below are a few of the heart surgeries we provide.

Bypass surgery

Heart bypass surgery, or coronary artery bypass grafting, is used to provide new paths for blood to reach your heart. By using veins or arteries, mostly commonly from the inside of your leg or from the underside of your breastbone, we bypass the blockage in the coronary artery and restore blood flow to the heart.

This surgery is used to help relieve pain and may prolong your life, but it does not eliminate the heart disease causing the blockages. New blockages can occur in other arteries of the heart and in the bypasses themselves. We might recommend that you go through a cardiac rehabilitation program where you will learn how to maintain your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and overall heart health through diet and exercise.

Valve surgery

There are two general types of replacement valves now available:

  • Mechanical replacement valves – allow blood to travel in one direction and prevent it from going backward.
  • Bioprosthetic replacement valves – made from animal tissue and usually have a lower risk of blood clot formation.

Podcast: Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery

Minimally invasive valve repair

Our physicians use minimally invasive, valve replacement surgery whenever possible because it results in fewer complications and speeds recovery time. You will be tested to determine if you are a candidate for this type of surgery. Our skilled cardiac surgeons can often repair the problem with a minimally invasive robotic surgery procedure.

Unlike in traditional heart surgeries, the chest does not have to be opened. Your surgeon operates from a special computer console that controls highly-precise robotic surgical tools. This leading-edge technology uses smaller incisions compared to traditional valve surgeries.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement

Novant Health was among the first in the country approved to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a non-surgical treatment that inserts a wire mesh valve into the heart through an artery in the leg. We offer two different approaches to TAVR at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte and Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem – transfemorally, through a small incision in the groin, and transapically, through a small incision in the left lower chest.

TAVR is appropriate for people who have severe aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the heart valve, which restricts blood flow to the heart; they cannot endure the traditional surgical approach of open-heart surgery.

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery

Our heart surgeons are on the cutting-edge of advanced treatment options such as minimally invasive cardiac surgery – performed through a small incision using specialized instruments. The incision with minimally invasive surgery is about two to four inches rather than six to eight inches with traditional surgeries.

Benefits of minimally invasive cardiac surgery include:

  • Reduced pain
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery
  • Faster return to work
  • Less scarring and improved appearance after surgery

If you have recently had a surgery performed, we provide the support you need for a healthy recovery through our rehabilitation programs. We provide exercise therapy, nutrition education, emotional support, smoking cessation and education programs to help you avoid further complications and increase your overall health.

Learn more about our cardiac rehabilitation program »

Cardiac Surgery Discharge Class

Cardiac Surgery Stretch Exercises


If you have additional questions, please contact the Novant Health heart & vascular surgery location nearest you.

Locations specializing in this service:

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