Cardiothoracic Surgery

If you have a condition that requires heart, chest, or lung surgery, trust the skilled and experienced surgeons at Essentia Health to provide exceptional care before, during, and after your surgery. Our surgeons use the latest techniques and technology to help you achieve the best possible health outcome.

What’s a Cardiothoracic Surgeon?

A cardiothoracic surgeon is a surgeon with specialized training in the diagnosis and surgical treatments of conditions related to the heart, lungs, and other thoracic (chest) organs.

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.

Conditions

When is Heart Surgery Performed?

Heart surgery may be necessary to:

Types of Heart Surgery

Depending on your condition, Essentia cardiothoracic surgeons can perform open heart surgery, minimally invasive heart surgery, or heart bypass surgery.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

You may be able to take advantage of the benefits of a minimally invasive surgery, which uses smaller incisions than traditional surgery. Benefits include:

  • Less risk of pain and complications
  • Smaller and less visible scars
  • Shorter recovery time

Heart Bypass Surgery

Bypass surgery treats symptoms of coronary heart disease. This disease occurs when a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the arteries in your heart and blocks blood and oxygen from reaching it. If you have coronary heart disease, you may need a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). Essentia’s heart surgeons perform many types of CABG each year.

During most CABGs, your heart is stopped for the procedure. The work of your heart is done by a heart-lung machine, which is a piece of medical equipment that pumps blood and oxygen through the body. During the surgery, a healthy blood vessel is taken from your leg, arm, or chest and connected to the other arteries in your heart so that blood bypasses the diseased or blocked area.

Off-Pump Bypass

An off-pump bypass, also called beating heart surgery, is a type of CABG that doesn’t use a heart-lung machine. Using advanced technology, only a part of your heart is stopped during the surgery. The rest of your heart keeps pumping blood to the body.

Alternatives to Bypass Surgery

If you and your doctor decide that a CABG isn’t right for you, trust the specialists at Essentia to recommend and expertly perform other treatments, such as a transmyocardial revascularization (TMR). This procedure uses a laser to make small passages in the heart so that blood can flow better.

When is Chest, Lung & Esophageal Surgery Performed?

You may need surgery to examine, detect, or treat certain chest, lung, or esophageal conditions, including:

  • Chest wall tumors
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Esophageal motility disorders
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Lung cancer
  • Mediastinal tumors (chest cavity between the lungs)
  • Mesothelioma
  • Pleural diseases (membrane lining your chest and covering your lungs)

Lung Cancer Surgery

When you face lung cancer, rely on your Essentia surgeon and oncology team to provide complete care and exceptional treatments. Your surgeon may perform surgery to stage your lung cancer, remove a cancerous lung mass, or to get rid of the cancer. You may need:

  • Wedge resection – Removes a wedge-shaped portion of your lung to take out a small tumor or diagnose lung cancer
  • Lobectomy – Removes one lobe of your lung containing cancerous cells
  • Pneumonectomy – Takes out a diseased lung

Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)

If you need lung or chest surgery, your doctor may use less-invasive video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Your surgeon might perform a VATS lobectomy or lung biopsy. The procedure uses tiny incisions in your chest to insert miniature medical tools and a video camera so your surgeon can see the inside of your body.

Recovery

Depend on Essentia’s professionals to provide post-surgical care. After surgery, cardiac rehabilitation can help you increase the strength of your heart and prevent future heart problems. Pulmonary rehabilitation can improve your physical condition and reduce symptoms of lung disease.

Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a referral from your primary care provider or a specialist for this service.