Division of Cardiovascular Surgery
Much of the early experimental work on the heart
lung machine was done in the laboratories of Penn's
Department of Surgery by John Gibbon while he
was a faculty member here at Penn. This innovative
technology revolutionized heart surgery and was
just one of many medical "firsts" that
can be attributed to Penn surgeons.
Penn Cardiac Care was first in the Delaware Valley
to allow a heart transplant candidate to wait
for his new heart at home instead of stuck in
a hospital bed. With a revolutionary device called
HeartMate, that is only available in a few
medical centers in the entire country, patients
with failing hearts can be safely maintained at
home for up to three years while waiting for a
Penn Cardiac Care surgeons were also the first
in the region to use surgical robotics in cardiac
surgery. This technique involves a smaller incision,
thereby providing less discomfort to the patient
and a faster recovery.
High-risk patients often come to Penn, not just
for our medical firsts, but also for the expertise
of our staff. Many local hospitals turn down
these patients because they are not considered
good surgical candidates. Penn Cardiac Care,
however, uses a team approach with cardiologists,
surgeons, and other specialists working collaboratively
to create treatment solutions. For example,
the surgical success rate at the Hospital of
the University of Pennsylvania for valve replacement
is an impressive 90% for most of the high-risk
Penn Cardiac Care surgeons
also have high success rates with patients
who need second or third bypass procedures to
re-establish the heart muscle's blood supply.
At Penn, re-operations that are completed for
bypass patients who are not in crisis ranges
about 97%. Penn Cardiac Care Surgery handles
all known cardiac problems treatable by surgery,
and often is challenged to rescue patients who
have failed previous surgical attempts.
Penn Cardiac Care Surgery is renowned:
- More repairs of aortic dissections were performed
by Penn Cardiac Care surgeons in 2000 than by
any other health system in the region.
- Philadelphia Magazine's 2004 issue
featuring Top Docs lists more Penn cardiac surgeons
than any other health system in the area.
- Most surgeons from the Division of Cardiac
Surgery were recognized by The Best Doctors
in America 2002.
- More heart transplant surgeries are performed
at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
(HUP) and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
than in any other system in Greater Philadelphia.
- More complex aorta and heart valve surgeries
are performed at HUP than at any other Greater
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