Surgical Treatments

Heart Bypass Surgery

Cardiac treatment has come a long way since the Greeks first performed heart surgery in 400 BC. In the mid-1970s, medical scientists perfected the technology and techniques that have resulted in millions of lives saved through successful heart surgery every year.

The Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend continues to keep pace with the latest innovations in heart surgery, making it one of the most vital heart surgery centers in the Northwest. Our team of specialists works to prevent, diagnose and determine the best treatment options for each patient.

Depending on your diagnosis, heart surgery may be the best option to reduce symptoms, improve your quality of life, and increase your lifespan. Heart surgery can correct a variety of heart problems such as:

  • Repair or replace valves that control blood flow
  • Bypass or widen blocked or narrowed arteries to the heart
  • Repair aneurysms, or bulges in the aorta, which can be deadly if they burst
  • Implant devices to regulate heart rhythms
  • Replace a damaged heart with a donor heart

Traditional heart surgery—also called cardiac surgery or open-heart surgery—is any surgery used to treat the heart muscle, heart valves, or arteries leading from the heart. In this type of procedure, the chest is opened by cutting through the breastbone and connecting the patient to a heart-lung bypass machine, which takes over the pumping action of the heart. This allows surgeons to operate on a still heart.

New ways of performing heart surgery have been developed, including what’s called “off-pump” or “beating heart” surgery. It’s like traditional open-heart surgery but without the use of a heart-lung bypass machine. Minimally invasive heart surgery uses smaller incisions than traditional open-heart surgery, reducing risks and speeding up recovery time. Robotic-assisted surgery is also available for heart surgery.

The most common type of heart surgery is coronary artery bypass grafting. During this procedure, which relieves chest pain and reduces the risk of heart attack, surgeons use healthy arteries or veins taken from another part of the body to go around blocked arteries.

Heart-valve surgery—called valve repair, valve replacement, and valve prosthesis—is another fairly common procedure to repair or replace blocked, damaged or malfunctioning heart valves.

If you or someone close to you is experiencing a potential heart problem, call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency. For more information, please contact us at (541) 222-7218 or (888) 240-6484.