Patients benefit from the high volume of cardiac surgery procedures performed every year at Methodist Hospital. The hospital has two operating rooms specially equipped for open-heart surgery and valve replacement procedures. Cardiothoracic surgeons perform many procedures "off-pump" - a less invasive approach that does not require a heart-lung machine. With this approach, patients can have their breathing tube removed sooner, maximizing patient comfort and speeding the recovery process.
Surgeons also perform a minimally invasive procedure to remove leg veins that will be used in the heart, again resulting in reduced patient discomfort. Surgeons "harvest" the veins using two or three two-inch incisions, rather than the more traditional method of opening the entire length of the leg to access the vein. This simplified (and cosmetically desirable) procedure also facilitates recovery.