The Penn Medicine Difference

Even patients with fragile hearts can always find treatment at Penn: Our prominent academic cardiac surgeons routinely tackle the cases other cardiac surgery programs can’t. Our team routinely accepts referrals and transfers from other heart surgery programs throughout the region. We’re recognized the world over for our surgical specialization in:

Aortic Disease

Through the Aortic Center, we offer leading-edge treatments, including aorta surgery and endovascular aorta repair. Our dedicated aortic surgery team is available 24/7 to respond to aortic emergencies.


For patients who have a heart rhythm disorder that can’t be managed with medicine, a device or a procedure, we offer the Maze procedure. This is the leading surgical approach for atrial fibrillation (A-Fib). Learn more about the Penn Cardiac Arrhythmia Program.

Congenital Heart Disease

Through an alliance with specialists from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, we offer advanced surgical innovations to adults born with heart defects. Learn more about the Adult Congenital Heart Center.

Coronary Artery Disease 

If you have coronary artery disease that cannot be managed with medicine or interventional procedures, you may need heart surgery. Penn is a leader in using coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) to alleviate heart blockages. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania has achieved a three-star rating for isolated coronary artery bypass surgery for calendar year 2019 from the Society for Thoracic Surgeons, signifying the highest category of quality.  We strive to perform your surgery in the least invasive manner possible. Learn more about minimally invasive heart surgery

Heart Valve Disease 

We provide advanced treatment for every valve condition. Penn’s heart surgeons use both surgical and catheter-based operations to give every patient what they need. Learn more about heart valve treatments.

Heart Failure

Penn’s Heart Failure Program follows nearly 4,000 people living with heart failure. When surgical intervention is needed, heart failure cardiologists work closely with cardiac surgeons to determine the best course of treatment for each patient.  

Inherited Cardiac Disease 

Many people have hereditary heart conditions, including cardiomyopathies. We are among a few cardiac surgery programs in the nation who perform septal myectomy. This highly specialized procedure provides relief for people living with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Learn more about the Center for Inherited Cardiac Disease.

Mechanical Circulatory Support

Specialists in the Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Program are some of the nation’s most experienced in using ventricular assist devices (VADs). To date, we’ve participated in every VAD clinical trial. We also lead the nation in innovating uses for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to support patients undergoing heart surgery or experiencing grave heart failure. 


Our cardiac surgeons provide heart transplant surgery to more than 50 people each year. Patients needing heart-lung, heart-liver and heart-kidney transplants benefit from our expertise in multi-organ transplant. We also have the most extensive lung transplant program in the region, performing more than 100 lung transplant surgeries each year. Our deep experience in transplantation also extends to people living with complex congenital heart disease.

Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit

Patients have 24/7 care in Penn Medicine’s dedicated cardiac surgery intensive care units by specially trained cardiac critical care anesthesiologists and cardiac nurses who support attending physicians in delivering skilled, compassionate care day and night. Additionally, the 32-bed cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is one of the largest in the region.

Research-Based Treatments

Penn cardiac researchers are responsible for many of the breakthroughs in heart treatment that have occurred over the past two decades. Our focus on heart research and clinical trials means patients get access to innovative treatment options not available elsewhere. Learn more about research at the Penn Cardiovascular Institute.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

After your surgery, our team of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation experts can help you recover in a safe, supported environment. We help you gradually regain your strength through gentle exercises. Learn more about cardiac rehab.

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