A trio of lifesaving treatments

Jerry Sheridan laughs with Martin Emert, MD

Jerry Sheridan of Sheridan's Frozen Custard suffered from a heart attack, cardiogenic shock and heart failure. Doctors didn't expect him to live. That's when he was transferred to The University of Kansas Health System for a novel, risky treatment plan that was his only hope. Read Jerry's story.

Heart Surgery

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. And 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. To discuss your options for heart surgery, request an appointment online or call 913-588-1227 to schedule an appointment.

Who can benefit from 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:

  • Aortic aneurysms
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Heart rhythm disorders
  • Heart valve disorders
  • Stroke
  • Structural heart issues

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.

Treatments and procedures

In addition to traditional heart surgery, we are known for expertise in less invasive procedures, such as:

  • MitraClip® for mitral regurgitation: 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.

  • LARIAT® for atrial fibrillation: 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.

  • Melody® valve replacement: 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.

  • CoreValve® for severe aortic stenosis: 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.

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 also known for innovation in several key areas of heart surgery:

  • Robotic procedures
  • Endovascular (minimally invasive) treatment of blood vessel aneurysms and traumatic injuries
  • Minimally invasive heart valve replacement, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

Why choose us

  • Our heart surgery patients experience outcomes comparable with the very best programs in the United States.

  • Our health system has higher levels of patient satisfaction and lower levels of mortality than national averages would predict.

  • Quality control is extremely important. Doctors meet with nurses and other heart team members on a regular basis to review procedures and outcomes. We benchmark our results against national norms set by the country's finest centers.

  • Every patient sees both a cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon, and second opinions are available.

  • A cardiac anesthesiologist is part of every heart surgery team. This doctor performs a sound wave interrogation of the heart (transesophageal echocardiogram) on every patient. This added information improves the quality and completeness of the procedure.

  • Our surgeons are on the forefront of innovation. They participate in several unique clinical trials. Minimally invasive heart valve surgery and robotic heart operations are two areas in which our surgeons have special expertise.

  • The surgical services at the Center for Advanced Heart Care received a three-star rating from the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons. This rating is awarded only to the top 10% of the nation's surgery programs. It's based on quality performance measures.

What to expect

Preparing for Heart Surgery

In this tour, you'll walk through each step of your heart surgery hospital stay, from admission to discharge. You'll meet some of our staff and see the locations where you will receive care. Watch the video with your family and friends as you plan your visit.

We realize the time before your procedure is stressful for you and your family. That's why we want to help you prepare for it. We'll help you understand your condition and answer questions about your hospital stay and our exceptional physicians and staff. We want you to feel well cared for and comfortable. Let us know at any time how we can improve your experiences with us.

Review our patient and visitor guide for more information.