Saint Thomas Health > Heart > Cardiac Surgery

Cardiac Surgery

Saint Thomas Heart boasts one of the most experienced cardiac surgery programs in the nation. For more than 40 years, Saint Thomas Heart surgeons have treated patients with the latest in cutting edge surgical treatment options - ranging from minimally invasive mitral valve surgery, cardiac bypasses to implantable mechanical heart pumps and transplants.

Experience and outcomes matter when choosing a hospital for your heart surgery. Saint Thomas Heart heart surgeons have vast experience and expertise in all areas of heart surgery.

Heart Transplant Program


Ashok N. Babu, MD, renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and surgical director of the heart transplant program, joined Saint Thomas Health earlier this year. He performed the heart transplant along with a team of medical personnel on Wednesday, May 11th. The patient, a 42-year-old man from Nashville, is doing well after the transplant. "I feel we had a lot of good things in play," said Dr. Babu. "We had a good recipient, a good donor, a great team." Read More.

Cardiac Surgery

Surgical Expertise

Saint Thomas Heart cardiovascular surgeons have received advanced training and offer their patients decades of first-handexperience in performing many cardiac procedures, including:

  • Aortic aneurysm surgery
    • Aortic root surgery
    • Thoracic aortic aneurysm surgery including thoracic aortic stent grafts
    • Valve sparing root replacement
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
    When the blood vessels (coronary arteries) to the heart develop narrowing or blockages, the heart muscle does not receive adequate blood flow. To increase blood flow, a vein from the leg or an artery from the chest wall or arm is used in order to bypass the blockage. Coronary artery bypass grafting is one of the most common cardiac surgical procedures, with an estimated 500,000 bypass operations done each year in the United States.
    • Off-pump (beating heart) coronary bypass
      • Beating Heart Surgery is one of the newest open-heart techniques at Saint Thomas Heart and in the country. Instead of a patient being placed on a heart and lung machine, the patient's heart is kept beating throughout the entire surgery. The results of this procedure have been very positive, with lower mortality, fewer complications and generally a quicker recovery.
    • Traditional coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Heart valve surgery
    • Aortic valve repair and replacement, including minimally invasive technique
    • Mitral valve repair and replacement, including minimally invasive technique
    • Tricuspid valve repair and replacement, including minimally invasive technique
    • Pulmonary valve repair and replacement, including minimally invasive technique
  • Heart failure surgery
  • Marfan syndrome surgery
  • Minimally-invasive Robotic Heart Surgery
  • Pulmonary hypertension surgery, including pulmonary thromboendarterectomy
  • Surgery for atrial fibrillation (a type of heart rhythm disorder), including the Maze procedure

Reference material is available to help you and your family prepare for your surgery and recovery. Click below for important information.

Our Cardiac Surgeons

For more information about surgical treatment options available at Saint Thomas Heart and to schedule an appointment, please call 855.789.2593.