Cardiac Surgery

As an area leader in cardiovascular care, OSF HealthCare Cardiovascular Institute performs a comprehensive range of adult and pediatric cardiac procedures, from the common to the unique. We offer minimally invasive surgeries to help our patients heal faster, feel less pain, reduce bleeding and limit infection.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG)

Creates a bypass that allows blood to flow around a narrowed coronary artery - the vessels that feed the heart. A healthy vessel from the leg, chest wall or arm is used. One or several bypasses may be needed, depending on the number of narrowed coronary arteries.

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MAZE Procedure

Treats an atrial fibrillation - a common abnormal heart rhythm - which cannot be controlled through other treatments or medications. Small surgical incisions or small burns with a special type of catheter are made in the upper chambers of the heart muscle to interrupt abnormal pathways for electrical impulses. This allows the impulses to travel down the normal pathway, making the heart pump more effectively.

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Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass

An alternative form of bypass surgery that can be offered to some patients. The heart is kept beating and the heart/lung machine is not used. Otherwise, the concept is the same as CABG (see above).

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Thoracic Aorta Surgery

The repair and replacement of the main artery (aorta) from the heart in the chest.

Valve Repair

Repairs a patient's valve to help improve its function. A man-made ring may be sewn around the opening of the valve to tighten it. Other parts of the valve may be cut, shortened, separated or made stronger to help the valve open and close properly.

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Valve Replacement

Replaces a valve damaged by stenosis - failure of the valve to open fully - or regurgitation - the failure of the valve to close tightly. Four different types of valve replacement may be performed, depending on a patient's age, lifestyle, health and life expectancy.

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The replacement of a damaged valve with another one of the patient's own valves. Blood thinners are not needed. However, fifteen percent require another surgery after 20 years and therefore, this is used only for select cases.

Biologic Valve

An animal valve, porcine from a pig or bovine from a cow is used. Usually does not require long-term blood thinning. These have a better track record and less than 50 percent require repeat surgery after 10 years.


A preserved human valve is used to replace a heart valve that is not working properly. There is a lower risk for blood clots and a long-term blood thinner is unnecessary. Only 10 percent require repeat surgery after 10 years.

Mechanical Valve

A man-made valve is used to replace a heart valve that is not working properly. This requires lifetime blood thinning to prevent clots from forming. Because these valves are long-lasting, it is the best alternative for patients who have life expectancies greater than 10 years to avoid repeat surgery.

Ross Procedure

Uses one of the patient's own valves in combination with a preserved human valve. A diseased aortic valve is replaced with the patient's own pulmonary valve. Then the patient's pulmonary valve is replaced with a preserved human valve. This is used only with a selected group of patients.

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