For 35 years, Memorial’s Heart Program has served the cardiac care needs of the Gulf Coast. Memorial has combined highly skilled staff with the newest technologies to provide superior cardiovascular surgery for our patients.
Cardiovascular Procedures Offered at Memorial
- Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
- Cardiac Valve Surgery
- Aortic Aneurysm Repair
- Peripheral Vascular Angiography
- Cartoid Endarterectomy
- TransCarotid Artery Revascularization
- Femoral Popliteal Surgery
Interventional procedures like angioplasty to widen or clear blocked vessels. Angioplasty with stent placement to support cleared vessels and keep them open. Your doctor will tailor your treatment based upon a detailed evaluation of your condition. Learn more about angioplasty.
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
Coronary artery bypass surgery is a surgical procedure in which one or more blocked coronary arteries are bypassed by a blood vessel graft to restore normal blood flow to the heart. These grafts usually come from the patient’s own arteries and veins located in the chest (thoracic), leg (saphenous), or arm (radial). The graft goes around the blocked artery (or arteries) to create new pathways for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart.
A coronary artery bypass procedure has several intended outcomes:
- relieve symptoms of coronary artery disease (including angina)
- enable the patient to return to their normal lifestyle
- reduce the risk of a heart attack or other heart problems
Cardiac Valve Surgery
Another heart procedure is cardiac valve surgery. In it, diseased heart valves are repaired or replaced. Your heart doctor will order diagnostic tests to help identify the location, type, and the extent of your valve disease. These test results, your heart’s structure, your age, and lifestyle will be the determining factors your doctor will consider as to which type of heart valve surgery procedure will be most appropriate for you.
Your own heart value may often be repaired. However, if it is too damaged, you will need a new valve. If that is required, your surgeon will remove your valve and put a new one in place.
Types of Replacement Heart Valves
There are two main types of replacement heart valves:
- Mechanical: Composed of metal (stainless steel or titanium) or ceramic, these valves are the most long-lasting. However, in addition to receiving a mechanical replacement valve, you will need to take blood-thinning medicine, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin, for the rest of your life.
- Biological: Composed of human or animal tissue, these replacement valves last 12 to 15 years. With biological valves, you may need to take blood thinners for the rest of your life.
During heart valve surgery, a surgeon makes an incision down the center of your sternum (breastbone), gaining direct access to your heart. Next, the surgeon repairs or replaces your abnormal heart valve or valves. The average length of your hospital stay will be five to seven days. Complete recovery after this surgery will take a few weeks to several months, which will be determined largely by your health prior to the surgery.
Aortic Aneurysm Repair
There is no single determinant for repairing an abdominal aortic aneurysm that works for everyone because each patient is different. Each patient’s age, underlying medical conditions, life expectancy, and the size of their aneurysm will be carefully considered.
One approach to this repair is traditional surgery. A large incision is made in the abdomen, then the aortic aneurysm is identified and cut out. The missing piece of aorta is replaced with a synthetic graft.
Another approach involves placing an endovascular graft on the aneurysm. In this procedure, a catheter or tube is threaded into the femoral artery in the groin, and the graft is positioned so that it spans and sits inside the aneurysm and protects it from expanding.
Peripheral Vascular Angiography
Diagnosis and Treatment for Peripheral Vascular Disease
Vascular/Ultrasound is an ultrasound method (also called a duplex study) used to observe and evaluate the blood flow through the vessels in your body. This test can be used to evaluate the blood flow in the arteries of your neck that supply blood to the brain, and also to detect the presence, severity, and location of any clots or narrowed areas of the arteries of your arms or legs. Memorial is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories.
Peripheral Vascular Angiography and Intervention
An angiography procedure is also commonly performed in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease. It identifies narrowed vessels in patients with leg claudication or cramps, which is caused by reduced blood flow down the legs and to the feet, and in patients with renal stenosis (which commonly causes high blood pressure). It can also be used in the head to find and repair strokes. All of these procedures are done routinely through the femoral artery. They can also be performed through the brachial or axillary (arm) artery. Any stenoses found may be treated by the use of atherectomy, angioplasty or stenting.
Peripheral Artery Bypass Surgery
Advanced peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs in the arteries of the circulatory system. It is also known as peripheral vascular disease, atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. In this disorder, plaque gradually forms inside the walls of the peripheral arteries, narrowing or blocking them. When this occurs, blood is unable to reach and to nourish organs and other tissues. Muscles in the lower extremities will cramp and lose strength. Pain or foot ulcers can occur in severe cases. The result is tissue damage and, eventually, tissue death.
Peripheral artery bypass surgery is another treatment procedure that may need to be performed if arteries become too blocked or narrowed by plaque. In it, blood flow is rerouted around the artery blockage.
When plaque (fatty, waxy deposits) forms in the two large carotid arteries in each side of your neck, a carotid endarterectomy surgery removes the plaque. These arteries supply your brain with oxygen-rich blood. If it is not removed, plaque can lead to strokes in people who have carotid artery disease.
Plaque is composed of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances that can be found in blood. The fatty, waxy plaque gradually hardens and narrows the carotid arteries. This hardening and narrowing presents a serious health risk because, when the flow of the oxygen-rich blood to the brain is impeded, it can lead to a stroke.
If the plaque in a carotid artery cracks or ruptures, it can also cause a stroke. Blood cell platelets stick to the injury site and they may bind together, forming blood clots. These clots can partially or fully block a carotid artery.
In addition, a piece of plaque or a blood clot can break off from the carotid artery wall. It can travel through the bloodstream and become lodged in one of the brain’s smaller arteries. When this occurs, blood flow in the artery can become blocked, causing a stroke.
TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR)
A TCAR is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a special transcarotid neuro-protection system designed to reduce the risk of a stroke during the insertion of a stent. Learn more about TCAR.
Femoral Popliteal Procedures
Femoral popliteal procedures are used to treat femoral artery disease. The femoral artery is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the lower part of your body.