If you're diagnosed with a heart condition, surgery may be a lifesaving option. At Chester County Hospital in West Chester, PA, our heart and vascular surgeons care for every cardiac need — from routine to highly complex.
Heart Surgery and Vascular Surgery: The Chester County Hospital Difference
As part of Penn Medicine, you can trust Chester County Hospital to deliver leading-edge cardiac surgical care with compassion — right in your own community. Patients and families choose us for heart and vascular surgery because of our:
- Individualized Heart Care: Taking care of you is an entire team of Penn cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, advanced practice providers and nurses. Your heart and vascular nurse navigator coordinates every aspect of your care before and after surgery and ensures that you and your family have the information, support and resources you need. Meet our heart and vascular team.
- Leading-Edge Therapies: When traditional surgery is not an option, we treat heart and vascular conditions with minimally invasive procedures such as robotic CABG, TAVR and MitraClip™. These procedures use just a few short incisions and catheters (thin, flexible tubes), so you recover more quickly with fewer complications.
- State-of-the-Art Technology: Our surgeons and interventional cardiologists often work together in our state-of-the-art hybrid operating room. This surgical suite offers the latest technologies for both traditional heart operations and catheter-based procedures. Patients who need both procedures can have them at the same time.
- Therapy Before and After Surgery: If needed, we work with you before surgery to maximize your physical readiness for the best possible surgical outcomes. After surgery, Chester County Hospital's outpatient cardiac rehab team provides an individualized plan to help you get back to the activities you love.
Innovations in Cardiac Surgery
Chester County Hospital is among the region's top destinations for comprehensive heart and vascular surgery. Our Penn cardiovascular surgeons have extensive training and experience in surgical procedures such as:
Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a type of arrhythmia that creates a fast, irregular heartbeat. The condition often causes uncomfortable symptoms and can lead to stroke or heart failure.
Ablation for AFib is an interventional procedure that uses extreme heat or cold to create scar tissue on the inside or outside of the heart. Because abnormal electrical signals cannot pass through scar tissue, the irregular signals stop, restoring normal heart rhythm. Ablation for AFib is one treatment we offer in our Arrhythmia Program.
AFib may lead to blood clots that can cause a stroke. The traditional treatment for preventing these clots is warfarin, a common blood thinner medication that may cause unpleasant and challenging side effects.
The WATCHMAN device is an alternate treatment option for some patients with AFib. Penn surgeons use a catheter to insert the small, umbrella-like device in the left atrial appendage to prevent blood clots from forming. Learn More About The WATCHMAN Device.
Ascending Aortic and Aortic Root Repair Surgery
The aorta is the large blood vessel that comes directly out of the heart. It supplies blood to the entire body. The two primary diseases that affect the aorta are:
- Aortic Aneurysm, a weakened and bulging area in the aorta
- Aortic Dissection, a tear in the inner lining of the aorta that allows blood to escape into the muscle layer of the aorta
Aneurysms and dissections may require emergency surgery. In the case of small aneurysms, your doctor may recommend frequent monitoring with CT scan or an MRI.
Cardiac Tumor Surgery
Cardiac tumors are rare and often detected during testing for another problem. Myxoma is the most common cardiac tumor in adults. It is usually benign (non-cancerous). Symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing while lying flat, dizziness, fainting and a sensation of feeling your heartbeat. Sometimes patients do not have symptoms at all.
Myxomas can cause neurological symptoms if a piece of the tumor breaks free and travels to the brain. Surgical removal of the tumor is the only effective treatment.
Congenital Heart Disease Surgery
Congenital Heart Disease is a defect in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that happens before birth. Some conditions do not cause problems until adulthood. The most common congenital heart disorders affecting adults are:
- Congenital Valve Defects: Valve deformities that can lead to abnormal blood flow
- Atrial Septal Defects: Openings in the wall between the atria or upper chambers of the heart that cause abnormal blood flow
The severity of the symptoms and the abnormalities of heart function dictate the type of treatment you may have. A few mild heart defects do not require any treatment. Others can be treated with medications or catheter procedures. Some may require surgery.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
Coronary arteries are the blood vessels that nourish the heart muscle with oxygenated blood. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) can cause a fatty buildup (plaque) to form in your heart arteries. The plaque narrows the vessels, restricting how much blood reaches the heart.
In some cases, the plaque completely blocks the vessel, cutting off all blood flow and causing a heart attack. Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery (CABG) is an open-heart surgical procedure that diverts blood around blocked blood vessels to help improve heart function. Learn More About CABG at Penn.
If you are at risk for complications from the use of a heart-lung machine, your surgeon may elect to perform off-pump CABG. This approach maintains the patient's body temperature and decreases bleeding. Our surgeons perform many CABG procedures without the use of a heart-lung machine.
Our surgeons are specially trained to use a robot to perform some types of cardiac surgery, including CABG. This minimally invasive method can increase precision and safety because it allows for micro-movements that aren’t possible with the human hand. The robot also increases visualization of the heart beyond what is possible with the human eye. Learn More About Robotic Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery.
Heart Valve Surgery
Your heart has four valves: the aortic, mitral, tricuspid and pulmonary valves. They work to pump blood in the right direction through and out of the heart. Each valve has flaps (also called cusps or leaflets) that open and close to control blood flow. If you have heart valve disease, the flaps on one or more of these valves do not function correctly.
At The Chester County Hospital Heart Valve Center, you can receive expert care for the most complex heart valve conditions. When traditional surgery is not an option, we offer minimally invasive valve surgery procedures including:
SAVER Surgery (Dor Procedure)
Some patients with heart failure after a heart attack may be candidates for the SAVER (Surgical Anterior Ventricular Reconstruction) operation or Dor Procedure. This surgery, which is usually combined with coronary bypass, remodels the size and shape of the heart damaged by a heart attack so it functions more efficiently.
Request an Appointment
Call 800-789-7366 (PENN) to speak to one of our heart and vascular experts. You can also request an appointment using our online form.