Cardiac surgeons in the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Heart and Vascular Center perform a wide range of surgeries on the heart and primary blood vessels (aorta, venae cavae and pulmonary arteries and veins).
All Medical College of Wisconsin cardiac surgeons are board-certified and highly skilled and experienced in performing cardiac operations.
Team Collaboration and Exceptional Staff
Cardiac surgeons collaborate with other Medical College of Wisconsin specialists in the Heart and Vascular Center — cardiologists, vascular and interventional radiologists, interventional cardiologists, vascular surgeons and electrophysiologists — to determine the optimal treatment strategies for patients. As a team, they share their expertise in heart and vascular care to ensure the best possible outcomes.
During surgery, cardiac surgeons work with surgical assistants, specially trained nurses, anesthesiologists, and perfusionists, who operate the heart-lung machine (if needed). To meet the unique needs of each patient and family, team members also include nurses, physician assistants, cardiovascular technicians, dietitians, therapists, lab technologists and other professionals.
Learn more about our cardiac surgeons and exceptional staff.
Many cardiac patients are benefiting from a number of innovative procedures performed by the Heart and Vascular Center. For example:
In 2006, the Heart and Vascular Center was the first in the region to perform thoracic endovascular (inside the vessel) artery repair (TEVAR) to repair a thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA), an aneurysm in the upper part of the aorta. This minimally invasive procedure involves placing a stent in the thoracic aorta to the aneurysm from the bloodstream.
Minimally invasive heart surgery — for years, heart surgery has been performed through a long incision through the sternum (breastbone) to reach the heart. Today, cardiac surgeons in the Heart and Vascular Center can perform minimally invasive surgery, to correct many types of heart problems, such as repairing a valve or closing a hole in the heart. This approach has many benefits for patients.
Coronary bypass surgery, valve surgery and combined coronary bypass-valve surgery are the most common heart surgeries performed. Our survival rate for this group of procedures is better than state-wide and national results; in the 2007 Society of Thoracic Surgeons report, our risk-adjusted mortality for this group was 1.5 percent, compared with 2.4 percent in the state of Wisconsin and 2.5 nationally.
Cardiac Surgery Clinic
Patients having heart surgery are seen in this clinic for pre-surgical evaluation and follow-up care. The Cardiac Surgery Clinic consistently receives very high marks for patient satisfaction from Press Ganey, a company that surveys patients nationwide.
As an academic medical center, research is important to patient care. Discoveries lead to new treatments, prevention and cures for high blood pressure, heart attack, congestive heart failure and other diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
Heart and Vascular Center patients have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of new treatment techniques, medications and devices. Heart and Vascular Center physicians participate in significant local and national clinical research trials to study many forms of heart and vascular disease.