Heart, Lung and Vascular Surgery

Our skilled heart, lung and vascular surgeons at Aiken Physicians Alliance offer a variety of procedures to treat many conditions. Your heart and lung doctors may suggest the following surgical treatment options to treat or prevent heart failure or heart disease.

Heart Surgery

We perform a full range of heart procedures, including bypass surgery, aneurysm repair and heart valve replacement.

Heart surgery recovery is a relatively time-consuming process. Patients can expect to stay in the hospital for about a week after surgery. This in-patient week typically includes at least one to three days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Your doctor may also recommend that you participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program.

These programs are designed to give the patient the tools and skills to reduce their risk of further heart complications. Rehabilitation programs include educational resources for starting a new diet and exercise program, quitting smoking and learning to deal with stress.

Bypass Surgery

Bypass surgery, or coronary artery surgery, is a treatment for coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become hardened and narrow.

Coronary artery bypass surgery improves the blood flow to the heart. It provides blood a new route, or “bypass,” around a section of the clogged or diseased artery.

The surgeon will take veins or arteries from other parts of the body. These arteries are then used to construct new connections around the blocked arteries of the heart.

Coronary bypass surgery has proved safe and effective for many patients who have the procedure.

Aneurysm Repair

An aneurysm is a widening, or ballooning, of a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the artery walls. The widening can increase to the point of rupture. If a ruptured aneurysm occurs in a major artery, such as the aorta, it can result in death. We provide traditional surgery as well as a minimally invasive option.

During surgical repair, an incision is made in the abdomen. The widened portion of the aorta is then cut out and replaced with a synthetic graft.

The minimally invasive approach is called endovascular stent grafting. It is used to repair certain aneurysms that occur in the aorta (abdominal aortic aneurysms).

The surgeon begins by making a small incision in the groin. Next, a tube is threaded into the femoral artery up to the aneurysm. The synthetic graft is then positioned so that it sits inside the aneurysm and prevents further expansion.

Heart Valve Surgery

The four valves in the heart play individual roles in circulating blood throughout the body. Diseased heart valves may need to be surgically repaired or replaced, especially the aortic and mitral valves.

Aortic Valve Surgery

The aortic valve is the largest artery in the body. It separates the heart and the aorta. The aortic valve functions to control blood flow out of the heart.

In a healthy heart, the valve opens to allow blood to flow out. Once it lets the appropriate amount of blood out, it closes to keep blood from returning the same way.

Surgery may be needed to prevent or stop aortic regurgitation if the valve does not close completely. Aortic regurgitation is when blood flows back to the heart through a faulty aortic valve.

Surgery may also be needed if the valve does not open properly and blood flow out of the heart is reduced. This is called aortic stenosis.

Mitral Valve Surgery

The mitral valve keeps blood flowing between two of the heart chambers, the left atrium and left ventricle. If the valve becomes hardened, blood may not be able to move forward through the valve. If the valve is too loose, blood may be able to flow backward. In either case, surgery may be needed to repair or replace the valve.

Lung Surgery

Our surgeons perform a variety of surgical procedures on the lungs. Lung surgery typically serves to repair or remove lung tissue or parts of the lung.

Common procedures include:

  • Biopsies for lung disease
  • Removal of infected portions of the lung
  • Operations for various types of lung cancer
  • Lung volume reduction surgery (used in certain cases of emphysema when the patient can no longer breathe properly)
  • Lung valve replacement surgery
  • Collapsed lung surgery procedure

Lung surgery recovery time varies based on the type and severity of the condition being treated. Patients with lung conditions can typically expect to stay in the hospital for five to seven days.

Vascular Surgery

Vascular surgery procedures are utilized to bypass or remedy blocked arteries. Vascular surgery helps prevent stroke, kidney failure or loss of extremities. It also includes the repair or removal of aneurysms. Vascular surgery operations can be performed in various parts of the body, such as the legs and kidneys.

Don’t hesitate to contact a medical professional at Aiken Physicians Alliance if you have a family history of heart, lung or vascular problems. A doctor may recommend a stress test or other cardiac ultrasounds if you have risk factors like high blood pressure.

These tests help determine the health of your heart muscle, lungs, valves and arteries. Getting ahead of heart issues can reduce your risk of complications such as heart attacks and congestive heart failure.