Success Rates Among the Best in the Nation

Patients often come to Penn Heart and Vascular for its surgical firsts, the expertise of its surgeons and a broad array of surgical options.

Dr. Acker in OR

Surgical Specialization Leads to Better, Safer Care

Because of Penn Medicine's size and diversity, surgeons with special skills in every area of cardiac and vascular surgery, from minor to complex, are on staff. That means they are able to:

  • Match the right patient with exactly the right procedure, favoring wherever possible:
    • Minimally-invasive rather than open techniques
    • Procedures that deliver the best in long-term quality of life, such as valve repair over valve replacement
  • Deliver some of the highest success and lowest complication rates in the country
  • Treat higher risk and elderly patients, even those who may have been turned down by other hospitals

Tomorrow's Advantages Today

The field of cardiovascular surgery is constantly evolving and Penn cardiovascular surgeons at the forefront of innovative procedures. In many cases, they are writing the book. Their special expertise includes the newest technologies and techniques for:

  • Bloodless, beating heart, minimally-invasive, and robotic surgery
  • Complex grafting, and hybrid reconstructions and revascularizations
  • Endovascular and percutaneous (catheter-based) options for valve repair and replacement
  • Mechanical-assist device implantation
  • Heart transplantation
  • Valve repair for heart failure using the latest hybrid approaches
  • Collaborative effort between cardiovascular surgeons and the cardiac arrhythmia team, working seamlessly to treat atrial fibrillation with surgical ablation while performing open heart surgery in a single operation

Penn cardiovascular surgeons also work closely with cardiologists specializing in heart failure to offer new hope for end-stage heart failure with the latest options in medical management, mechanical circulatory support through the mechanical-assist device program, and for qualifying patients, transplantation through the heart transplantation program.

Penn also stays ahead of the curve with surgical equipment upgrades. For example, patients can have both interventional and endovascular procedures performed simultaneously in one of two hybrid catheterization/operating rooms. This new approach has the potential to enhance patient recovery times and outcomes.

Multi-specialty Collaboration that Offers New Options for Patients

Active partnerships between Penn cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons offer better options for patients who need:

  • Endovascular treatments for aortic disease
    • Thoracic aortic aneurysms
    • Dissections
    • Transactions
    • Abdominal aortic aneurysms
  • Catheter-based surgeries for structural heart disease
    • Percutaneous aortic valve replacements (AVRs)
    • Hybrid percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs)
  • Minimally-invasive valve surgeries (for example, patients can have a minimally-invasive aortic valve replacement and an angioplasty with a drug eluting stent in a single operation)

A Surgical Process Designed to Eliminate Complications

Each cardiovascular surgical team at Penn is as meticulous with pre- and post-surgical care as they are during surgery. Each team:

  • Provides in-depth explanations to patients concerning their options and recommended procedures
  • Helps patients maximize their physical readiness for surgery
  • Educates patients on how to best follow discharge instructions and what to expect during recovery

A dedicated cardiac anesthesia team follows each patient's care from admission through post-operative care to ensure the best possible surgical outcome.

In This Section

Treatments and Procedures

Learn about the treatments and procedures available at Penn's Cardiac Surgery Program.

Treatment Teams

View a list of the doctors and other providers at the Penn Cardiovascular Surgery Program.

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