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University Health
Surgical Treatments
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Call the University Health Heart & Vascular Institute at 210-644-327.

Surgical Treatments

Comprehensive Cardiac Surgery Team

University Health offers a comprehensive cardiac surgery program treating cardiac diseases of adults and children. Our cardiologists want to offer you the treatment option that’s most effective for correcting your heart problem. Sometimes that answer is surgery, and we offer a variety of surgical procedures to handle our patients’ needs. We are equipped to handle even the most challenging and complex cases

In addition to these surgical procedures, our partnership with UT Health San Antonio puts our cardiologists on the cutting-edge of the latest research and innovative procedures. As medical technology rapidly improves, we stand ready to implement new and safe procedures to offer our patients the most effective treatments available. We are always looking for opportunities to better serve our patients and improve their quality of life.

How to Prepare for Your First Appointment

We understand that having signs of an unhealthy heart can be stressful. We are here to help you make sense of your symptoms and what may come next. From your first visit to your cardiologist all the way to ongoing care—we are by your side.

What to Bring

  • A list of your symptoms, when you notice them, and what makes them better or worse
  • A list of your current medications, including over-the-counter medicines and supplements
  • A list of medications you have tried in the past, and the reason you no longer take them
  • Information about any family history of heart problems or other risk factors you have
  • A list of questions you want to ask your cardiologist

Questions to Ask Your Cardiologist

Our cardiologists welcome any questions you may have about your heart condition, the treatment options we offer and how to get started down the path to a healthier heart. We are your partners, and we invite you to take an active role in your heart health.

  • Do my symptoms indicate I have a heart problem?
  • What kind of tests do I need to have? What answers will these tests provide?
  • What should I expect during my test? What’s the risk of complications?
  • What treatment options are available for me? What are the risks and benefits of each one?
  • What symptoms might indicate that my heart condition is getting worse?
  • What’s my risk of having another heart problem in the future?
  • What changes can I make in my life to improve my heart health?






Doctors
  1. Aaron Abarbanell, MD
    Thoracic Surgery
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  2. Allen Anderson, MD
    Cardiology
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  3. Ildiko Agoston, MD
    Cardiology Internal Medicine Nuclear Cardiology
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Surgical treatments
Aortic aneurysm repair

If the aortic artery becomes weak and bulges out (an aneurysm), our surgeons can perform aortic root surgery to correct the problem. This procedure treats the aortic root, where the aorta connects to the heart. This repair may also be accomplished using minimally invasive and endovascular aortic procedures.



Atrial arrhythmia surgery

Also called the maze procedure, atrial arrhythmia surgery corrects atrial fibrillation, which is a type of arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. Your surgeon will create a precise maze of scar tissue in your heart in order to disrupt improper electrical impulses.

Congenital heart diseases

The pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons at the University Children’s Health Heart Center have extensive expertise with both simple and complex congenital heart surgeries. We also offer minimally invasive treatments such as percutaneous closure of atrial septal defects and patent foramen ovale, percutaneous closure of ventricular septal defect, percutaneous closure of patent ductus arteriosus, and pulmonic valve interventions.


Heart bypass surgery

Known as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or coronary artery bypass surgery, this is the most common type of heart surgery. Your cardiovascular surgeon will take a healthy blood vessel from somewhere else in your body and use it to go around, or bypass, the blocked coronary artery. This replacement, called a graft, creates a new pathway for your blood to flow to your heart. Our surgeons have expertise in multi-arterial grafting and hybrid revascularization approaches.


Heart valve surgery

Heart valve surgery is used to treat heart valve disease, which can affect any of your four heart valves: the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve or aortic valve. Your cardiovascular surgeon has access to a full spectrum of surgical options to repair or replace the affected heart valves.

Your doctor may be able to accomplish this using minimally invasive procedures and transcatheter approaches such as TAVR or aortic, pulmonic and mitral balloon valvuloplasty.

Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy surgery

If medications are unsuccessful, we can treat this condition using surgery called septal myectomy. In this procedure, your surgeon will remove extra muscle tissue in your heart to improve blood flow and reduce symptoms. This condition may also be treated with a minimally invasive procedure called alcohol septal ablation. Our program is a Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association Recognized Center of Excellence.


Reoperative cardiac surgery

If a person has had heart surgery in the past, reoperative (or repeat) heart surgery may improve the heart’s function for a better life ahead. A minimally invasive procedure can also be an option for some people, depending on the condition.