At Mountain Vista Medical Center, we understand that the decision of where to receive surgical treatment of a heart condition is not one to be made lightly. That’s why we offer compassionate care, advanced technology, digital medical records and top-of-the-line surgical suites to provide patients with the best possible heart care in Mesa, AZ. Below you’ll find information about some of the minimally invasive surgical treatments available at the Heart Care Center at Mountain Vista Medical Center.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair is required when the aorta (the major artery going away from the heart) develops a weakened wall that bulges in the abdominal part of the body. A minimally invasive procedure known as endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is a surgical option at Mountain Vista Medical Center for resolving an AAA. EVAR has an excellent success rate and improves patient comfort, reduces recovery time, and alleviates some of the risks associated with an open repair, which involves a large incision. Instead, with EVAR, two very small incisions are made in the groin and a thin catheter is threaded through the blood vessels. Fluoroscopy, which uses an injected contrast dye and x-ray technology, guides the surgeon to accurately place a stent graft in the aneurysm.
Balloon Angioplasty and Stent Placement
If your doctor diagnoses an arterial blockage, a procedure known as angioplasty may be recommended. This is a minimally invasive procedure in which the cardiologist will guide a slender catheter into the femoral artery, usually inserted through a small incision in the groin, and up to the blockage or blockages. On the end of the x-ray-guided catheter, a balloon is used to open up the blockage. Typically, after the balloon is inflated and opens up the blood flow, a stent (also on the end of the catheter) is placed and permanently inserted to keep the blockage open. The stent is a small metal mesh tube that acts like scaffolding, reinforcing and strengthening the blood vessel. By performing this minor procedure, recovery time is minimized and heart health outlook is oftentimes excellent.
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
Coronary artery disease may require surgical treatment if a blockage is present in one (or more) of the major arteries that provide oxygen to the heart muscle. If surgery is ordered, the doctor will aim to bypass, or get around, the blockage or blockages. This is done by grafting arteries from other parts of the body (chest, arm, or leg) onto the affected artery, thereby diverting the blood flow around the blockage. In the past, the only option for bypassing blockages was through open heart surgery which involves a 6+ inch incision down the center of the chest and spreading open the rib cage. While open heart surgery may still be necessary for some bypasses, a more minimally invasive option for bypass surgery is available for viable candidates. This less invasive procedure is sometimes known as keyhole or port access bypass surgery.
Using robotic tools and video assistance allows the surgeon to maneuver the blood vessels without needing the amount of space necessary for hands to do the maneuvering. Another benefit of keyhole surgery instead of open heart surgery is the use of a heart-lung pump. In open heart surgery, a heart-lung machine is used to oxygenate and move blood through the body, allowing the heart and lungs to be still. While a heart-lung machine will be at the ready in the operating room should it be needed, keyhole bypass surgery allows the affected part of the heart to be stabilized and the rest of the heart to continue to beat and function normally. The size of the incision, the size of equipment working in the body and the disuse of the heart-lung pump all contribute to an easier and faster recovery as well as lower risks of bleeding and infection. Whether open heart or minimally invasive bypass surgery is required, Mountain Vista Medical Center is well staffed to meet your needs, both during the procedure and afterwards in recovery.
Heart Valve Surgery
Heart valve disease often requires surgery to replace or repair faulty valves. While some patients may have the best and longest-lasting repairs using open heart surgery to replace valves, not all people are candidates for open heart surgery. In these situations, minimally invasive surgery using robotics and video-assisted guidance may be done. Mountain Vista Medical Center is fully equipped to host these procedures. Using small incisions, surgeons can repair or replace a faulty valve with either a biological valve (from a donor, yourself, or an animal) or a manufactured/artificial valve.
Pacemaker and (ICD) Implantation
Arrhythmia may require surgical intervention if a patient is at risk for life-threatening cardiac arrest or has a chronically slow-beating or erratic heartbeat. A pacemaker helps control abnormalities in the heart rhythm. If it is too slow, a pacemaker can speed up the heart rate. If a heart rate is too high, a pacemaker will slow it to a safe level. A pacemaker can also coordinate the chambers of the heart if the rhythm is uneven. An implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD, monitors the heart beat patterns. If the ICD detects a dangerous rhythm, such as during a heart attack, it will automatically send an electrical shock to the heart to reset and correct the rhythm. An ICD is simply a very small version of hospital defibrillators. However, it is constantly attached to the heart and ready to act immediately. Most current ICDs are also pacemakers. Both of these devices are implanted just under the skin by the collarbone. Wires connect from the device through veins and into the right side of the heart. These incredible devices are implanted with minimal invasion of the body and low risk of side effects from the surgery.
Atrial fibrillation is a fluttering or irregularity in the upper chambers of the heart caused by a flaw in the heart’s electrical system. While atrial fibrillation can often be treated and properly managed with medication, some patients do not respond well. In those patients a minimally invasive surgery known as radiofrequency ablation may be a good option. During this procedure, the surgeon will guide a catheter with an electrode on the end through a blood vessel to the affected chamber of the heart. A mild radiofrequency is transmitted to a small area of the heart muscle that is causing the issue. These radiofrequencies destroy or damage the targeted portion of the heart. By disabling the tissue causing the symptoms, the atrial fibrillation stops. This is a very targeted and small portion of the heart tissue that is deliberately damaged; loss of function will not cause a problem to the patient’s overall heart functionality. It will, in fact, improve the heart’s ability to move blood throughout the body and improve the patient’s quality of life.
Schedule Your Appointment for Advanced Heart Care in Mesa, AZ
Technologically advanced surgical suites and the availability of robotics and video-assisted surgical tools make Mountain Vista Medical Center an excellent choice for heart care in the Mesa area. Our compassionate teams of physicians and nurses will work hard to ensure your care – before, during and after the procedure – is second to none. Contact us at 480.358.6100.
To learn more about your heart health, schedule a TripleView Screening at Mountain Vista Medical Center. A physician referral is not required for a TripleView Screening.