Cardiothoracic surgery includes various types of open-heart surgery and lung surgery to treat serious cardiac or pulmonary conditions.

Memorial Health University Medical Center pioneered open-heart surgery in southeast Georgia and we continue to offer some of the most advanced surgical technology in the region.

After surgery, our patients receive a 24/7 lifeline and support system. They’re given a red silicone bracelet inscribed with a phone number that they can call day or night to talk with a physician assistant or nurse practitioner. They can use the number to ask questions, get advice, and alleviate their anxiety. Patients are encouraged to wear the red band until it is removed by their physician at their 30-day follow up visit.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

You may hear coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery referred to as a “cabbage” procedure, bypass surgery, or open-heart surgery. During the procedure, surgeons use the patient’s own veins and arteries to create a new path for blood to reach the heart. They essentially “bypass” blocked areas around the heart.

People who undergo CABG suffer from coronary artery disease or coronary heart disease. It is a serious condition that can lead to heart attack or death if it’s not treated.

Transmyocardial Revascularization

The Memorial Health Heart & Vascular Institute offers transmyocardial revascularization (TMR) for the treatment of severe chest pain. This state-of-the-art surgery is for people who are too ill to undergo bypass surgery or angioplasty. However, in some cases TMR can be combined with bypass surgery.

During TMR, a surgeon uses a laser to create small holes into the heart’s pumping chamber. New vessels begin to grow around the holes. This helps to alleviate chest pain and restore some physical ability. If you are experiencing severe chest pain and are not able to undergo standard bypass or angioplasty surgery, talk to your physician about whether TMR may be right for you.

Valve Repair

Mitral valve repair is an open-heart surgical procedure to treat stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (leakage) of the mitral valve. The mitral valve is located on the left side of the heart and allows blood to flow into the heart's main pumping chamber. The mitral valve then closes to keep blood from leaking back into the lungs. When it is not working properly, it must be repaired by specially trained cardiothoracic surgeons. Our surgeons specialize in minimally invasive valve repair that is performed using small (less than 1-inch) incisions rather than one large incision. Tiny surgical instruments and a camera are inserted through the incisions. The surgeon performs the operation by watching images from the camera broadcast on a monitor. A major benefit of minimally invasive valve surgery is that the surgeon does not open the entire breastbone and chest. This results in less risk, less pain, and a faster healing time. We also offer non-surgical valve repair options for qualified patients.

Robotic-Assisted Cardiothoracic Surgery

Our surgeons use the da Vinci Si robotic surgery platform for robotic procedures. The da Vinci machine mimics the surgeon’s hand movements through tiny instruments that work inside the body. This enables the surgeon to perform even the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with unmatched precision.