Surgical Services and Procedures

FMC offers a Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery Program that combines the expertise of skilled surgeons, physicians and nurses with the latest advancements in medical technology.

Off-pump Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (OP-CAB)  
OP-CAB is a progressive, cardiovascular surgical procedure. The surgeon bypasses diseased (narrowed) coronary arteries using veins obtained from the patient’s leg or chest. During OP-CAB, the heart remains beating while artery bypass surgery is performed.

OP-CAB has several benefits over traditional open heart surgery including:

  • Decreased risk of damage to the heart, brain, kidneys and other organs
  • Fewer cognitive and neurological side effects
  • Less blood loss
  • Quicker recovery time due to a less-invasive process

FMC uses OP-CAB in as many cases as possible. For patients who are not candidates, the heart bypass machine (heart-lung machine) is used.

Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
Traditional heart surgery typically requires exposure of the heart and its vessels by dividing the sternum, which is considered one of the most invasive and traumatic aspects of open heart surgery.

Traditional open heart surgery requires a 10- to 12-inch incision to separate the sternum. Minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery is performed through one or more small 3- to 5-inch incisions.

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery results in a faster recovery, fewer complications and less pain after surgery.

Valve Repair and Replacement
The valves of the heart are located within the chambers of the heart and are critical to the proper flow of blood through the heart. All of the valves, when functioning normally, act as one-way valves, allowing blood to flow either from one chamber to another or out of the heart in only one direction. The valves control the flow of blood through the heart by opening and closing during the contractions of the heart.  

  • Valve Repair - During valve repair, a ring may be sewn around the opening of the valve to tighten it. Other parts of the valve may be cut, shortened, separated or made stronger to help the valve open and close correctly.
  • Mitral valve repair is performed to repair a malfunctioning mitral valve, due to narrowing or leakage. The mitral valve can malfunction because of a congenital abnormality (abnormal from birth) or an acquired disease (diseased with age) or as a result of rheumatic fever. In rare instances, the mitral valve can be destroyed by infection or a bacterial endocarditis. Mitral regurgitation may also occur as a result of coronary artery disease.
  • Valve Replacement - If a valve can't be repaired, part or all of the damaged valve and its supportive structures may be removed and may be replaced with a mechanical or biological prosthetic valve. Mechanical valves are created from man-made materials. Biological (tissue) valves are taken from pig, cow or human donors.
  • Aortic valve replacement is performed to replace a malfunctioning aortic valve, due to narrowing or leakage. The aortic valve can malfunction because of a congenital abnormality (abnormal from birth) or an acquired disease (disease with age).

MAZE Procedure for Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation
During the surgical procedure, a number of incisions are made on the left and right atrium to form scar tissue, which does not conduct electricity and disrupts the path of abnormal electrical impulses. The scar tissue also prevents erratic electrical signals from recurring. After the incisions are made, the atrium is sewn together to allow it to hold blood and contract to push blood into the ventricle. This procedure can be performed during heart surgery to treat another condition or can be performed as a stand-alone procedure.

Major Thoracic and Trauma Procedures
These procedures include complex lung resections, removal of intravascular tumors, repair of penetrating chest trauma or the treatment of tracheobronchial illnesses.