1,000 open heart surgeries

August 11th, 2017

The open heart surgery program at John Peter Smith Hospital performed its 1,000th procedure on Wednesday, crossing a milestone once thought unimaginable.

In O.R. 14, the heart’s mitral valve was replaced in a 54-year-old man likely unaware of how different his experience could have been without the changes at JPS over the last decade.

Open heart surgery became available at JPS seven years ago. Prior to 2010, patients who needed it were sent to other hospitals at JPS’ expense, at one time all the way to Galveston. JPS was neither equipped nor staffed to support an open heart program.

Today, JPS has a thriving open heart program with standards and outcomes on par with those of the region’s oldest well-established programs. The open heart program at JPS reports outcome data to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, which holds participating hospitals to notoriously exacting standards. Patients at Tarrant County’s safety net hospital have access to the best care available.

As is true nationally, the most frequently performed open heart procedure at JPS is cardiac artery bypass grafting (CABG).

Bypass is performed for severe coronary artery disease. The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart. In coronary artery disease, they become narrowed by the buildup of plaque, which creates the risk of blood clots. Reduced blood flow to the heart causes chest pain. Complete blockage causes a heart attack.

In bypass, one or more sections of diseased artery is replaced with a healthy blood vessel borrowed from somewhere else in the body.

Open heart surgery is also performed to repair aneurysms, repair or replace malfunctioning heart valves, treat atrial fibrillation, and place ventricular assist devices (VADs) and artificial hearts.


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