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Heart surgery

The best cardiac care, when you need it the most

The skilled cardiac surgeons of Novant Health provide care to you and your loved ones, with the most advanced heart procedures available.

Heart bypass surgery
Heart bypass surgery is almost commonplace today but at Novant Health, there is no more important surgery than yours. If you have significant blockage in the arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle, you are at serious risk of having a heart attack. If angioplasty and stent treatment in the cardiac catheterization lab are not appropriate for you, your Novant Health cardiologist may recommend a heart bypass operation, more accurately known as a coronary artery bypass graft because it bypasses the blockage.

Surgeons use veins from other parts of your body – typically your leg – to bypass the blockage. Your Novant Health heart surgeon may be able to use endoscopic vein harvesting, an advanced technique that involves just one or two small incisions and allows for easier recovery, less scarring and a smaller risk of infection.

Atrial septal defect surgery
An atrial septal defect is the most common congenital defect seen in adults. The defect is an abnormal opening or hole in the wall that separates the two upper chambers of your heart. This hole allows excessive blood flow to the lungs and, in turn, may cause shortness of breath, fatigue or an irregular heartbeat. Novant Health surgeons correct this defect by sewing or patching the hole in the septum.
Laser transmyocardial revascularization

Transmyocardial revascularization is an advanced surgical procedure designed to help increase blood flow in damaged areas of your heart. Novant Health surgeons use a laser to create tiny channels in the heart muscle that revascularize, or increase blood flow, to the damaged area of the heart, usually lessening the risk of heart attack.

Ventricular aneurysm surgery

A ventricular aneurysm is a scar that results in a ballooning out or bulging of the heart muscle, which causes an inadequate pumping action of your heart. Because the heart is less efficient, you may have heart failure, shortness of breath, fatigue, pain or irregular heartbeats. The surgeon removes the aneurysm and patches or closes the ventricle securely.

Valve repair or replacement
If the valves of your heart collect calcium deposits or no longer close properly, you may need valve repair or replacement. After a thorough evaluation, a Novant Health cardiac care team will recommend the best course of treatment. There are two general types of replacement valves now available:
  • Mechanical replacement valves, which allow blood to travel in one direction and prevent it from going backward.
  • Bioprosthetic replacement valves, which are made from animal tissue and usually have a lower risk of blood clot formation.

Valve repair, rather than replacement, may be right for you. If you have mitral valve prolapse or another type of mitral valve defect, our skilled cardiac surgeons can often repair the problem with a minimally invasive, high-precision robotic surgery.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement

Novant Health surgeons are among the first in the country to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement, a non-surgical treatment that inserts a wire mesh valve into the heart through a small incision in either the groin or the left lower chest.

Radio frequency maze

Your Novant Health cardiologist may recommend this procedure for treatment of an irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation. Typically, the procedure is done during bypass or valve surgery. Radio frequency energy is used to cut the nerve pathways in the heart that are making the heart beat irregularly.