El Camino Hospital offers the full range of surgical procedures normally associated with large medical centers. Our team is always looking for innovative ways to make surgery easier on our patients. By using smaller incisions, we decrease the chances of infection, lessen pain, speed healing, and minimize scarring.
Cardiac surgery generally refers to surgery of the heart and large vessels, and thoracic surgery generally refers to surgery of the chest other than the heart. Often surgeons who work in both these areas are called cardiothoracic surgeons.
These are just some specific procedures that our surgical teams perform:
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is a surgical procedure used to bypass blockages or obstructions in the coronary arteries, thereby restoring the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. At El Camino Hospital, our team is exploring techniques that improve patients’ outcomes and comfort.
Minimally invasive vein harvesting
If you need coronary bypass surgery, you may be a candidate for this procedure. Minimally invasive vein harvesting is an important advance in cardiac surgery, which results in fewer infections and a quicker recovery. Yet it's not offered at most cardiac surgery centers. At El Camino Hospital, our team is specially trained to perform this procedure.
Traditionally, a surgeon makes a long incision in the leg to remove the blood vessel being used for the bypass graft, leaving the patient with a long scar. This new technology allows your surgical team to remove the vein through one to three small leg incisions, each less than one inch in length. The small openings allow the surgical team to use a special video camera to see the vein and remove the needed portion with minimal trauma to the leg.
In bypass surgery, surgeons commonly use the veins in the legs or arms. Surgeons are increasingly using arteries such as the ones that run along the inside of the chest wall, one on each side of the sternum, or an artery in the arm. Research shows these "arterial grafts" seem to last longer than vein grafts. This can be particularly beneficial and lead to better long-term results, particularly for younger patients.
Beating Heart Surgery
Our team also has the ability to perform bypass surgery without using the heart-lung machine. This is known as off pump coronary surgery. In this surgery, we operate on the beating heart without relying on cardiopulmonary bypass (stopping the heart and using the heart lung machine to pump blood to the organs). In some patients, especially the elderly and those with carotid artery blockages or kidney disease, this technique may lead to a quicker recovery and less risk of needing a blood transfusion.
Our teams also specialize in:
- Valve surgery (aortic valve surgery, mitral valve repair, valve replacement)
- Aortic surgery
Vascular surgery treats the vessels around the heart. We work closely with our colleagues in the cardiac catheterization lab to treat a variety of vascular disorders, including:
El Camino Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the nation that offers hybrid procedures, which combine both surgical and catheter techniques.