Anatole Trakhtenbroit, MDCardiology Echocardiography Nuclear Cardiology
John Smith, MDCardiothoracic Surgery
Steve Tsai, MDCardiology Nuclear Cardiology
University Health offers a high quality, comprehensive cardiac surgery program to treat cardiac diseases of adults.
Our heart team strives to offer a treatment plan that corrects your symptoms, improves your quality of life and can lead to a longer life. Sometimes that answer is surgery, and we offer a variety of surgical procedures.
Surgical Procedures We Offer
Heart bypass surgery
Known as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or coronary artery bypass surgery, this is the most common type of heart surgery. It treats the disease that causes heart attacks and sometimes leads to heart failure.
Your heart 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 vessel, called a graft, creates a new pathway for your blood to flow to your heart.
Heart valve surgery
Heart valves regulate the flow of blood inside the heart. Heart valves work in two ways. When open, they allow blood to move forward. When closed, they prevent blood from flowing backward.
Heart valves can develop two kinds of problems: stenosis, when the valve does not open well enough; and regurgitation, when the valve does not prevent blood from flowing backward. Heart valve disease can occur because of age, genetics, infection or other factors.
- Aortic valve surgery: This procedure treats problems with the aortic valve, such as aortic stenosis or aortic regurgitation. Surgery can repair the valve or replace it with an artificial valve. Our surgeons have experience in minimally invasive surgeries to treat this valve.
- Mitral valve surgery: This procedure treats problems with the mitral valve. In cases of mitral regurgitation, the valve can often be repaired but sometimes needs to be replaced. Our surgeons are highly experienced in repairing the valve with advanced techniques.
The aorta is the largest artery that carries blood throughout the body. Our cardiac surgeons have expertise in treating aortic diseases, including aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections with excellent outcomes.
- Aortic aneurysm: In some patients, the aortic wall becomes weak and dilates (an aneurysm). This can lead to serious emergency problems such as aortic dissection. To prevent these complications, our surgeons perform aortic surgery to replace the diseased aorta with a graft. Depending on the location, this repair may also be accomplished using minimally invasive and endovascular aortic procedures.
Aortic dissection repair
This occurs when there is a tear in the lining of the aorta. It can be life threatening, so your doctor may need to perform emergency surgery. This involves replacing the most critical part of the aorta with a graft.
Patients who had an aortic dissection should have their aorta monitored with CT scans. Our surgeons monitor these CT scans and discuss lifestyle changes to minimize future aortic problems in our outpatient clinics.
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.
Atrial arrhythmia surgery
Also called the Maze procedure, this corrects atrial fibrillation, which is a type of irregular heartbeat. Your surgeon will use specialized tools to block the pathways that cause atrial fibrillation. Often, patients with heart valve disease also have atrial fibrillation, and surgery can address both problems at once.
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 and has the most focus and expertise for this disease in our region.
Reoperative cardiac surgery
If you have had heart surgery in the past, reoperative (repeat) heart surgery may improve your heart’s function. Our surgeons regularly take on cases turned down by others.
Our surgeons provide consultation, expert advice and experience to arrive at a treatment plan for the most complex conditions.
In addition to these surgical procedures, our partnership with UT Health San Antonio puts our cardiologists and cardiac surgeons on the leading edge of 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.