The cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons at the Main Line Health Heart
Center at Lankenau, Bryn
Mawr, and Paoli
Hospitals perform greater than 1,000 surgeries annually. In 2007, 756
heart surgery cases were performed, making the Heart Center one of the
largest programs in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, region.
Our Heart Center’s specialty team of experienced professionals includes
board-certified surgeons, physician assistants, nurse practitioners,
cardiac nurses, anesthesiologists, and surgical technicians. We
continually monitor our outcomes, allowing us to be active in
performance improvement. This process, in many cases, results in
exceptional outcomes exceeding the national average.
Our comprehensive services include:
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) Surgery—off-pump (beating
heart) and traditional (on-pump) — at Bryn Mawr, Lankenau, and
Collaborative treatment (hybrid procedures that combine surgery
and stent intervention) for coronary artery disease, offering
patients the least invasive method to treat their disease
Keyhole surgery, which eliminates the traditional bone-breaking,
long chest incision, offers less pain and reduces bleeding,
while maintaining patient strength for a smoother, and often
faster return to normal activities
Mitral valve repair, our preferred method of treatment for
mitral valve disease, although mitral valve replacements are
Aortic valve replacements for congenital defects, bicuspid
leaflets, or adult acquired disease; aortic root replacements
are also performed, if required.
Concomitant procedures including CABG and valve, CABG with other
complex procedures, or surgery on multiple valves during the
same operation, including that on the tricuspid valve
Ablation, surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation
Repair of congenital or adult-acquired anomalies, such as Atrial
Septal Defect and Ventricular Septal Defect.
Transmyocardial revascularization (TMR), with or without CABG.
TMR is used for areas of the heart that cannot be bypassed or
revascularized surgically; a laser is used to create small
channels through the heart to supplement myocardial oxygenation.
Aortic root wrap for treatment of aortic root dilation
Ventricular assist device (VAD) therapy for heart failure
Carotid endarterectomy for carotid artery disease
Plus, a wide array of lung surgery procedures, both open and
Main Line Health Heart Center heart surgeons are national and
More than 90% of our CABGs are done off-pump, compared to the
national average of 19.6%. Patient benefits of heart surgery
without cardiopulmonary bypass include quicker recovery, fewer
cognitive and neurological consequences, shorter hospital stays,
and reduced need for blood transfusion.
Cardiac Surgery Team Initiatives lead to a more satisfactory and
quicker postoperative recovery. These include:
Extubation while in the OR
Aggressive pain management
Early ambulation, out of bed within 4 hours of
Blood management and conservation program to
reduce the need for transfusion
Deep vein thrombosis prevention
Reduction in infections and other
hospital-acquired complications including falls
Stroke reduction initiatives
Our heart surgeons use cerebral oximetry to monitor cerebral
oxygen saturation, contributing to our reduced incidence of
stroke in the isolated CABG population. Our rate of
postoperative stroke in 2007 was 0.3%, well below that of the
STS National Adult Cardiac Surgery Data benchmark of 1.1%.
Endoscopic harvesting of radial artery and/or saphenous vein is
the standard of care for coronary artery bypass surgery.
Main Line Health Heart Center is pleased to recognize that we
have one of the nation’s busiest robotic revascularization
surgeons — the busiest on the east coast.
We offer mitral valve repair, which generally has greater
longevity in comparison to valve replacement and eliminates the
need for life-long blood thinners. Greater than 90% of isolated
mitral valve repairs are performed using a minimally invasive
technique. We are a national training center for minimally
invasive mitral valve repair using Port Access technology.
We pioneered the use of "stentless" tissue aortic valvesm, which
use the patient’s own aortic wall for support, leaving more
space for improved blood flow. Data suggest degenerative effects
are slowed as a result of this design.
Heart Center surgeons were among the first in the region to use
the aortic wrap techniques for treatment of aortic root
Our ventricular assist and heart transplant surgeon led the team
that implanted the world’s fifth implantable artificial heart
and is recognized as a leading authority on mechanical
circulatory assist devices.
Experienced patient care
Our cardiac surgeons jointly have over 75 years operating
Our heart surgeons are nationally recognized, are noted
lecturers and distinguished authors; they have published
numerous papers on cardiac surgery in several peer-reviewed
scientific journals. They have spoken at conferences to both
clinical and consumer audiences on the issues that affect men
and women with heart disease and are frequently quoted in
alternative media, newspapers, and magazines including Newsweek.
Our heart surgeons work closely with the patient’s cardiologist
and primary care physician during treatment planning and
Patient lifestyles and activities are discussed at length to
determine which type of valve is best suited for each individual
patient — Stented or Stentless, Mechanical, Homograft, or
The excellent care continues post-operatively in our
Cardiothoracic Intensive Care and Progressive Care telemetry
units. Our nursing staff continues caring for patients after
discharge, with follow-up phone calls to check that patients are
taking their medications, checking their weight daily,
addressing any needs or questions they may have at home, and
confirming they have made their appointments with surgeons and
Accredited cardiac rehabilitation begins in the hospital and
continues on an outpatient basis.
Our doctors are also involved with research that brings the
newest treatments and innovations to our patients.
We monitor our own results on an ongoing basis, and compare our
statistics to the national benchmark of the Society of Thoracic
Surgeons. We maintain a concurrent database, which is then “harvested”
to the STS National Database. This permits us to develop tracking tools,
allowing refinement to our own methods, and continually improve our
patient care and delivery system.
New hope for heart failure patients
The Heart Failure Program, based at Lankenau Medical Center, brings
together a team of nationally respected experts to provide aggressive,
individualized treatment for patients with all degrees of heart failure.
When required, ventricular assist devices can be used either as a bridge
to transplant or a bridge to recovery. Patients requiring heart
transplantation are evaluated and cared for by a team of specially
trained medical and support professionals.
Advancements in cardiac research
Main Line Health Heart Center physicians stay at the forefront of
medical research by participating in clinical research trials. Today, we
are actively involved in 25 clinical research trials, including multiple
heart valve devices, valve repair techniques and treatment of atrial
arrhythmias. Because of our involvement, patients often gain quicker
access to the newest treatments or procedures available. In addition,
the Heart Center at Lankenau Medical Center teaches tomorrow’s
physicians through accredited fellowship programs in cardiology,
interventional cardiology and electrophysiology.
Connect with MLH
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Second Opinions Call: 1.866.CALL.MLH
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.