Peninsula Regional Medical Center - Part of Peninusula Regional Health System


Cardiac Surgery



Since 1982 the open heart surgery program at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, which developed from the region's first open heart procedure performed here in 1974, has met the needs of the area by providing comprehensive cardiac care.

We perform revolutionary procedures like ventricular restoration (a surgery to treat heart failure by reshaping the heart muscle), endoscopic vein harvesting (a procedure to harvest the saphenous vein through one small incision versus an incision the length of the leg during coronary artery bypass surgery), off pump coronary artery bypass (a surgery that uses a special device to steady portions of the beating heart without relying on a heart lung machine and heavy anesthesia), and left ventricular assist device (a mechanical pump device surgically implanted to physically assist the heart pump blood).  We are also working with Duke and Johns Hopkins on national research projects.

There is more to heart surgery than just bypass surgery.  Learn the terms associated with this and other procedures.

Coronary Artery Bypass (CAB or CABG or "Cabbage") - surgery 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, leg or arm.  The graft goes around the clogged artery (or arteries) to create new pathways for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart. 

Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization (TMR) - A new treatment aimed at improving blood flow to areas of the heart that were not treated by angioplasty or surgery.  A special carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is used to create small channels in the heart muscle, improving blood flow in the heart.

Valve Repair/Replacement Surgery - the old valve is either repaired or removed.  If removed, a new valve is sewn in.  The new valve can either be mechanical or biological.

Valve Replacement - Mechanical - These valves are made totally of mechanical parts that are tolerated well by the body. The bileaflet valve is used most often.  It consists of two carbon leaflets in a ring covered with polyester knit fabric.

Valve Replacement - Biological - These valves (also called tissue or bioprosthetic valves) are made of tissue.  However, they may have some artificial parts to help give the valve support so it may be sewn in place.  These valves can be made from pig tissue (porcine) or cow tissue (bovine).

Endoscopic Vein Harvesting - this process is used to obtain veins for coronary artery bypass grafts. It uses specially designed instruments and video equipment to create small incisions along the upper and lower leg, rather than one long leg incision.  This technique decreases patient discomfort and the occurrence of leg wound infection and is also cosmetically more appealing.  Endoscopically removing a vein from a patient's leg rather than making a large incision has led to faster and easier recoveries for patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery.

Maze Procedure - A surgical procedure to treat permanent atrial fibrillation that restores the atria to a more normal size. The surgery involves creating small incisions to create scar tissue.  The scar tissue, which does not conduct electrical activity, blocks the abnormal electrical signals causing the arrhythmia. The scar tissue directs electric signals through a controlled path, or maze, to the lower heart chambers (ventricles).

Surgical Services at Peninsula Regional Medical Center