In many cases, cardiovascular surgery is the most effective treatment option for certain life-threatening heart conditions. Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, delivers the full spectrum of surgical treatment options and has an excellent record of successful outcomes.
Doctors are part of the Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute, and are on the forefront of new technologies and procedures. The Institute is a Center of Excellence for both the Abiomed Ventricular Assist Device procedure (VAD) and Endoscopic Vein Harvesting (EVH). We are the only VAD program in Northern California, outside of the Bay Area, and the largest EVH center in the Western United States.
At Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, cardiovascular surgeons perform the highest quality surgery using the most advanced technology available. Our surgical results are excellent, surpassing state and national averages. In addition, our specialty nursing units provide expert care to help you recover after heart surgery.
Ventricular Assist Devices
A VAD is placed in the body so that blood leaves the failing left ventricle and is pumped into the aorta, essentially taking over the function of the heart. The device is powered by either a power unit plugged into a wall outlet or a battery pack that can allow the patient to be mobile.
Types of VADs offered by the Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute include:
- Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) — Receives blood from the left ventricle and delivers it to the aorta, which is the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
- Right Ventricular Assist Device (RVAD) — Receives blood from the right ventricle and delivers it to the pulmonary artery, which carries blood from the heart to the lungs.
- Bi-Ventricular Assist Device (BiVAD) — Used when both sides of the heart begin to fail, the procedure involves both an LVAD and RVAD.
- Catheter Deployed Support Device — The Impella® is the world’s smallest and only minimally invasive, mechanical cardiovascular support system. The Impella® procedure is normally done to sustain the patient’s weak heart for another major surgery by providing temporary support for the heart muscle.
Endoscopic Vein Harvesting
Endoscopic vein harvesting is done to obtain veins for grafting during heart bypass surgery. Unlike traditional vein harvesting that involves a large incision down the length of the leg ultimately leaving a massive wound and a large scar, the endoscopic vein harvesting procedure minimizes scarring and the possibility for infection.
Heart Valve Surgery
The valves in your heart open and close to regulate the flow of blood throughout the organ. Sometimes blood flow from the heart is hampered by the narrowing of a heart valve (a condition called stenosis) or a damaged valve. Surgeons in the Sutter Health network can perform various procedures to widen the valve (valvuloplasty), repair the valve (port access valve surgery) or replace it.
Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery
Some procedures — including TAVR transcatheter valve replacement and mitral valve surgery — can be done without open heart surgery. Instead, flexible tubes called catheters are inserted using small incisions, and threaded up a vein to the heart valve. The cardiac specialists make the repair or replace the valve through the tube. Patients usually go home within three days and recover fully in two to three weeks.