- Heart Surgery ProceduresBillings Clinic Cardiac, Thoracic & Vascular Surgery
- To Make an Appointment:
Your primary care provider or cardiologist will schedule your appointment with the Cardiovascular Surgery department.
1020 North 27th St
Billings, MT 59101
Billings Clinic has an outstanding cardiac surgery team. They use the latest technology and offer the following procedures.
- Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting On-Pump
- Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (beating heart surgery)
- Aortic Valve Replacement
- Mitral Valve Repair/Replacement
- Tricuspid Valve Replacement
- Aortic Aneurysm Repair (Ascending Aorta)
- Removal of Cardiac Tumors
- Adult Congenital Heart Repairs – ASD (Atrial Septal Defect), VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect), PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale)
- Aortic Dissection
- Cardiac Aneurysm
- Cardiac Arrhythmia Surgery
- Trauma to the heart & aorta
- TEVAR – Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair
TEVAR involves the use of a Thoracic Stent Graft to repair conditions such as aortic aneurysms or traumatic injury to the descending thoracic aorta. Historically these conditions have resulted in the need for major surgery which requires a several day stay in the hospital and many activity restrictions for patients as they recover from surgery.
The TEVAR procedure is completed in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab using a multi-disciplinary team of cardiologist, cardiac surgeons, anesthesia, cath lab, and OR personnel. During this procedure, a fabric graft supported by a metal framework is placed within the affected area of the aorta. The procedure takes approximately 1-3 hours to complete and patient’s stay in the hospital is approximately 2-3 days. Within 2 weeks of the procedure, patients should be back to their normal, active lifestyle with no restrictions.
The most common heart surgery procedures performed at Billings Clinic include coronary artery bypass grafting surgery and heart valve repair or replacement surgery.
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery
Heart Surgery (coronary artery bypass grafting) is an operation in which the surgeon creates a bypass or detour around blockages within the coronary arteries. The bypass or detour restores normal blood flow to the heart. The surgeon uses the patient’s own blood vessels (arteries and veins) to create the bypass grafts. The most commonly used blood vessels are the internal mammary artery (which supplies blood to the inside of the chest) or saphenous veins (which return blood to the heart from the legs).
The goal of bypass surgery is to relieve symptoms of coronary artery disease, lower risk of a heart attack, and enable patients to resume a normal lifestyle.
Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery
As noted previously, the heart has 4 chambers. Blood is pumped through the chambers of the heart, aided by 4 heart valves. The perfect valve would be one which minimizes any obstruction and allows blood to flow freely in one direction through the heart. The four heart valves include:
- Tricuspid valve – between the right atrium and right ventricle
- Pulmonic valve - between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery
- Mitral valve – between the left atrium and left ventricle
- Aortic valve – between the left ventricle and the aorta
Each valve has a set of flaps (also called leaflets or cusps). When working properly, the heart valves open and close fully and blood flows through the valve in a smooth and even manner. Heart valves don’t always work as they should. There are several factors which can cause heart valves to work improperly. A person can be born with an abnormal heart valve (a congenital heart defect) or a valve can become damaged by infections, rheumatic fever, or changes in valve structure as a person ages. Diagnosis of valvular heart disease is made by a Cardiologist usually with an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart).
There are two common conditions that can occur when a natural heart valve becomes defective or fails to fully open or close. These conditions can occur in just one valve or in more than one valve.
- Stenosis occurs when the valve cannot open completely or becomes narrow, so blood is pumped through a smaller than normal opening.
- Regurgitation occurs when the valve is not able to close completely, so blood leaks back through the valve when the valve should be closed.
Generally, even though the initial damage to a valve may happen early in life, the early effects are mild and defect progresses slowly. When the stenosis or regurgitation rate attains a significant level, clinical problems may become noticeable and symptoms of heart failure are felt by the patient.