Cardiothoracic Surgery

The cardiothoracic surgery team collaborates with other Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular physicians and nurses to offer a full spectrum of operative care to adult patients with cardiothoracic disease.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery

CABG procedures are performed when blood flow to the heart is blocked by plaque buildup in the arteries. Typically, a CABG procedure is done when a cardiac catheterization identifies multiple artery blockages. At Penn State Hershey, experienced surgeons offer multiple approaches to this surgery including:

  • On pump
  • Off pump
  • Arterial Conduits
  • Endoscopic harvesting of saphenous veins & radial artery conduits

Heart Valve Repairs and Replacements (mitral, aortic, tricuspid valves)

Heart valve repair and replacement procedures are necessary when heart valve becomes inefficient. The cardiothoracic team works with patients to identify the most appropriate valve type and repair or replacement procedure for the patient. Repair and replacement procedures include:

  • Open, standard technique—this technique is typically used when a valve repair or replacement is performed in conjunction with a CABG procedure.
  • Minimally invasive (non-sternotomy) technique—This technique allows surgeons to repair or replace one or multiple heart valves, without having to perform a sternotomy to access the heart. With this procedure, patients experience many of the typical benefits of a minimally invasive procedure, including shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery and return to daily activities, less pain and a smaller incision.
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)—This procedure, typically done in a cardiac catheterization laboratory, uses a catheter to place the new valve inside of the existing valve, and is available only to those who have aortic stenosis and have been identified as high-risk for a traditional, open surgical procedure. A multidisciplinary team of surgeons, interventional cardiologists, imaging cardiologist and a nurse coordinator work together to evaluate patients for this procedure.

Arrhythmia surgery

Penn State Hershey cardiothoracic surgeons perform a variety of surgical procedures to treat heart rhythm disorders including:

Thoracic Aortic Surgery

Complex aortic conditions are treated surgically with procedures including:

  • Aortic root replacement
  • Aortic arch replacement
  • Valve sparring aortic root replacement
  • Descending aortic repairs

Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Cardiothoracic surgeons work closely with cardiologists in the care and treatment of adults who are living with congenital heart disease. Adult congenital heart conditions that are typically treated surgically include:

Reoperative Cardiac Surgery

Patients who have undergone one cardiac surgery present unique challenges when the need arises for additional cardiac surgeries. The cardiothoracic team at Penn State Hershey has the experience and knowledge to help patients face these unique challenges.

Surgical Therapy for Heart Failure

Surgical options for patients in end-stage heart failure include:

  • Cardiac transplantation
  • Mechanical Circulatory Support (Acute and chronic implant of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) for destination therapy)
    • Devices available for implant include:

Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

ECMO uses a machine to circulate oxygen rich blood through the body, while bypassing the heart and lungs and is used for patients who are in acute respiratory failure or acute cardiogenic shock. The ECMO components are surgically placed and patients are then managed with the intensivist team.