Diagnosis & Treatment—Cardiac Surgery and Minimally Invasive Procedures

At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s Center for Cardiovascular Health, we understand that each patient is unique. If you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition that requires surgery, our team of cardiac surgeons is here for you. Our goal is to deliver highly personalized heart care to every patient we see. Our team will evaluate your condition, discuss your treatment options, and support you in making the best decision for you and your family. We will be with you every step of the way with our approach, helping you select the treatment option that gives you the best quality of life with the lowest possible risk.

Expert surgical treatment

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s cardiac surgeons provide some of the most contemporary and innovative treatments in cardiac surgery. Our cardiac surgeons are experienced in a wide variety of surgical treatments, including:

  • Bypass surgery

Bypass surgery redirects a blood vessel to “bypass” blockages so we can restore blood flow to the heart. This may be a traditional (open) or minimally invasive surgery.

  • Coronary bypass grafting (CABG)

We are a regional leader in coronary bypass grafting (CABG) with groundbreaking research on inflammation and cardiac surgery and improving the safety of the heart lung machine. In addition, we were pioneers in the use of “off-pump” CABG and early adopters of endoscopic vein harvesting—all of which improved patient outcomes and safety. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health's heart surgeons were also the first in the region to provide minimally invasive ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

  • Heart valve surgery

This includes surgeries for repairing and replacing heart valves. Our surgeons have some of the best outcomes in the nation.

  • Minimally invasive heart surgery 

Many heart and thoracic surgeries can be performed using a minimally invasive approach. Because these surgeries don’t require dividing the breastbone, they offer the potential for fewer complications and a quicker recovery. Additionally, minimally invasive surgeries often result in less pain, scarring and loss of blood, and generally reduce the risk of infection when compared with conventional open-heart surgery.

It’s important to note that while some conditions may be corrected with minimally invasive procedures, conventional open-heart surgery will be the most appropriate treatment in certain cases. Your cardiothoracic surgeon will help you and your family decide which approach is best for you.

  • TAVR/TAVI

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) are innovative minimally invasive approaches for patients who need aortic valve replacement—even those who aren’t candidates for traditional valve replacement surgery.

  • Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension and surgery for acute pulmonary embolism

Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a potentially life-threatening condition where the heart’s pulmonary artery is blocked by acute or recurrent blood clots. This can lead to progressive pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure. 

Lifelong anticoagulation is one of the most important therapies in the treatment of CTEPH. Expert medical and surgical teams can also determine whether surgery is an option. Pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, or PTE, is the surgical removal of all thromboembolic material and obstructive lesions within the pulmonary arteries. PTE is a well-established procedure for the treatment of CTEPH. Experienced centers and teams, including the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health team, report highly successful PTE outcomes.

PTE has become the gold standard for treatment of CTEPH, resulting in a significant reduction of pulmonary artery pressure and improvement in right ventricular function, quality of life and survival.