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When you need heart surgery, you want to have the best possible care, including technical expertise and a compassionate, friendly environment, preferably close to home. You want the latest equipment and techniques available. Most importantly, you want a coordinated system of care to minimize complications.

The University of Kansas Health System offers everything from minimally invasive heart surgery to heart transplant procedures. Our skilled surgeons work with the most modern technology and treat the most complex heart surgery cases in Kansas City.

What is heart surgery?

Heart surgery is 1 treatment option for people living with heart disease. Heart surgery can refer to many different types of heart procedures, depending on your particular condition.

Some types of heart surgery use minimally invasive techniques to speed healing. These innovative treatments result in less scarring, reduced exposure to anesthetic and a quicker recovery. They are excellent options for patients who are not candidates for open-heart surgery due to health or age.

The University of Kansas Health System is known for innovation in several key areas of heart surgery:

We offer a variety of appointment types. Learn more or call 913-588-1227 to schedule now.

Who can have heart surgery?

Heart surgery is commonly recommended as a treatment for many different types of heart disease. Specifically, those who may need heart surgery include those who have or have experienced:

In addition to heart surgery, our cardiothoracic surgeons perform complex surgery for many other conditions affecting the heart, such as lung cancer, chest tumors, esophageal cancer and more.

How does heart surgery work?

Heart surgery works by repairing or restoring the heart so it can function properly. The type of heart surgery you have will depend on your diagnosis. Some of the procedures and therapies available are:

  • CoreValve is a small device shaped like a champagne hood that can replace narrowing heart valves for improved blood flow. Research has shown CoreValve to be more beneficial than traditional surgery for high-risk patients.

  • Patients who are unable to take blood thinners benefit from the LARIAT procedure. The unique design of LARIAT, which resembles a lasso, allows the device to be placed through a catheter. LARIAT permanently closes the left atrial appendage, thus reducing the risk of future blood pools, clots and stroke.

  • Surgically placed heart valves that have become narrow or leaky can be treated without complex surgery using the Melody procedure. Melody can be used in children and adults to restore heart valve function and delay the need for surgery.

  • MitraClip is a small device that can be inserted in the heart through a vein in your leg. MitraClip restores normal blood flow by attaching to the mitral valve, allowing it to close more completely.

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Turning Point

Turning Point offers free classes, programs and tools designed to empower and educate people affected by chronic or serious illness.

Learn more about our services

Benefits and risks of heart surgery

When performed successfully, heart surgery greatly increases the survival rate for people living with heart disease. In some cases, it may also lower your risk for a future heart attack or stroke and prevent long-term damage to the heart.

All surgery comes with some degree of risk, including heart surgery. Your doctor will talk about the risks of your specific procedure before your operation.

What happens during heart surgery?

Prior to your procedure, your care team will help you prepare for your heart surgery. They'll help you understand your condition and answer any questions about your hospital stay and recovery.

Your surgery will take place in a hospital setting. Our state-of-the-art operating suite includes a hybrid room. The room serves as an advanced imaging suite and an operating room. This allows us to do the latest, most advanced procedures that require the skills of multiple doctors from different specialties. In this suite, we can perform high-risk operations without having to move patients from one area to another.

After your heart surgery, you will be encouraged to participate in cardiac rehabilitation. This medically supervised program incorporates exercise with education about heart-healthy living and emotional support for stress management.

More patients live
Our heart surgery patients experience outcomes comparable with the very best programs in the United States.
Expert care
Every patient sees both a cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon, and second opinions are available.
Leading research
Our surgeons are on the forefront of innovation. They participate in unique clinical trials and have special surgical expertise.