Surgical Care

El Camino Health is nationally recognized for heart surgery expertise — we were named among the top 5 percent in the nation for aortic valve replacement surgery by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Cardiothoracic Surgery | El Camino Health

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Our heart and vascular health specialists are dedicated to providing you with exceptional care and the latest surgical advances. At the Norma Melchor Heart & Vascular Institute at El Camino Health, our surgeons perform numerous advanced heart and chest procedures every year, many of which you would only expect to find at a large medical center.

We offer a wide range of surgical options to treat heart and vascular disease. Our surgeons always use the least invasive approaches whenever possible to minimize the length of your hospital stay and recovery time.

To help you recover, we offer comprehensive rehabilitative care through our Cardiac & Pulmonary Wellness Center. Our team of specialized nurses, therapists and other rehabilitation specialists is dedicated to helping you resume activities and lead a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Aortic Aneurysm Repair

When minimally invasive endovascular treatment isn’t possible due to the location or severity of the aortic aneurysm, your doctor will perform open surgery. This type of surgery involves an incision in your abdomen or chest to repair the artery. Your surgeon will remove the aneurysm and replace the section of aorta with a stent graft, a flexible wire-mesh tube.

Beating-Heart Surgery

Beating-heart surgery, also called off-pump surgery, is a technique for performing surgery without stopping and restarting the heart, which can increase the risk of complications. Your surgeon uses a special device to stabilize the area of the heart that’s involved in the procedure, allowing your heart to beat and circulate blood during surgery. Because beating-heart surgery can offer you a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery than traditional open-heart surgery, our surgeons use this technique whenever possible.

Heart Bypass Surgery

Heart bypass surgery, also known as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), is a procedure to restore blood flow to your heart by using blood vessels from other parts of your body — called grafts — to reroute blood around a blockage. Surgeons can use minimally invasive techniques to harvest these grafts.

Maze Procedure for Atrial Fibrillation

Maze heart surgery, also called surgical ablation, is a procedure that restructures the electrical pathways through the heart to treat atrial fibrillation (AF). The surgeon makes incisions in the atrium in a maze pattern and immediately closes the incisions. The electrical impulses that cause the arrhythmia are unable to cross the incisions, which causes them to follow the single path through the maze of scar tissue. This prevents irregular electrical activity and restores a regular heartbeat.

El Camino Health's arrhythmia experts can perform this as an open heart procedure, as well as a minimally invasive approach that only requires a few small incisions on each side of your chest — which may offer a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery.

Valve Repair and Replacement

Even when heart valve disease doesn’t cause symptoms, your doctor may recommend repairing or replacing a valve to preserve the strength and function of your heart and prevent a life-threatening condition. Whenever possible, doctors use minimally invasive techniques to repair the heart valve. If it’s not possible to repair the valve, your surgeon will use the least invasive surgical approach to repair or replace the faulty valve.

At El Camino Health, heart and vascular surgeons have advanced expertise in CABG, which results in fewer complications and better outcomes for patients.