Leader in Cardiac Surgery
The New England Heart & Vascular Institute at CMC is a leader in cardiac surgery. Our board-certified surgeons specialize in thoracic and vascular surgery and have performed more than 23,000 open-heart procedures.
CMC was the site of the first beating heart surgery in northern New England in 1996. Now, we are one of the busiest beating heart surgery centers in New England, with more than 90 percent of all heart bypass surgeries performed on a patient’s beating heart, without using heart-lung machine. Beating heart surgery can lead to lower risk of heart attack and stroke for patients.
In addition to providing you with highly-skilled surgical care, our team will walk you through a detailed plan for your treatment to help ease anxiety, increase understanding and build confidence for you and your family.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)
Bypass surgery improves blood flow around severely blocked arteries and alleviates the symptoms of coronary artery/heart disease. During the surgery, a portion of artery or vein is taken from another part of your body. This is called grafting. One end of the graft is attached to the aorta (section of the heart) and the other end is sewn to the coronary artery, beyond the blockage. The result is a new pathway—a bypass—for blood to flow to the heart. One or more grafts may be used depending on the number and extent of blockage.
In many situations, bypass surgery can safely and accurately be performed without using the heart-lung machine. This is referred to as beating heart or off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) surgery. This kind of procedure may reduce the length of stay in the hospital, decrease the need for blood transfusions, and improve a patient’s recovery.
Depending upon the location of your coronary artery blockage, surgeons may also be able to perform a minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB). This involves a smaller incision and can be done as a beating heart, or off-pump, procedure.
This new technology enables heart recovery in patients whose hearts are too weak to effectively pump blood on their own after a heart attack. The Impella 5.5 is a heart pump that is temporarily implanted minimally invasively in a patient’s heart. It reduces the heart’s workload and oxygen demand, which enables the heart to rest and recover, and it supplies much needed blood and oxygen to the patient’s other vital organs. Learn more>
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a condition where the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat out of sync. It happens when the electrical impulses that control contraction are faulty. This fast, irregular heart rhythm can reduce the heart’s ability to effectively pump blood. Blood may pool which can lead to blood clots. These clots can travel to other places in the body causing stroke and other medical issues.
Multiple treatments are available for patients with AFib. Some mild cases may be treated by medication. Others may require minimally-invasive treatment performed by an electrophysiologist (a doctor who specializes in heart rhythm disorders). In cases where a patient already requires open-heart surgery for another condition (e.g. coronary artery disease or heart valve disease), our cardiac surgeons can perform the MAZE procedure. The surgeon uses special instruments both on the outside and inside of the heart that disrupt abnormal electrical pathways to help the heart beat in a normal rhythm.
Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of the aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. This blood vessel is in the chest cavity. A ruptured TAA can cause extreme back or chest pain, difficulty breathing and potentially fatal bleeding. Aneurysms seldom have symptoms before they rupture, so screening is important for those who are at risk.
Valve Repair & Replacement
CMC has a leading program for minimally-invasive treatments for valve repair and replacement, including the TAVR and MitraClip procedures. We were also the first hospital in the state to perform a percutaneous mitral valve replacement
However, depending on the state of your valve disease, your overall health, and other factors, you may be best served by open-heart valve surgery.
Surgery to restore your valve to its normal function may involve repositioning the valve, inserting a prosthetic ring, or replacing the valve with an artificial, cadaver, or animal graft.
The type of surgery you have is decided based on your condition and individual needs. With successful surgery, you can expect a steady, gradual improvement in symptoms.