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Heart and vascular surgery

If your heart or blood vessels have been damaged — by conditions such as heart failure or congenital heart abnormalities — cardiovascular surgeons work to repair them. They may use traditional surgery or minimally invasive approaches, which can enable a faster recovery for you.

Cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons in Asheville, North Carolina

We're here to help when heart and vascular conditions can't be managed with nonsurgical means.

The heart and blood vessels play highly critical roles in keeping your body running. At Mission Hospital, our interventional cardiologists are here to help you overcome cardiovascular difficulties and thrive in a functional lifestyle.

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

Conditions we treat with heart and vascular surgery

Cardiovascular issues can seriously hinder daily life. Our surgeons are committed to your continued comfort and wellness, treating conditions such as:

  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib)
  • Carotid artery disease (CAD)
  • Emphysema
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Heart disease
  • Intracerebral aneurysm
  • Lung esophageal cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
  • Stroke
  • Structural heart disease
  • Thoracic trauma
  • Thymic neoplasm

Heart and vascular services we provide

Our cardiovascular program is rooted in research, education and innovation. We work to help your heart and vessels restore and retain maximum function through increasingly advanced techniques, clinical trial participation and any necessary high-risk treatments.

Heart and thoracic procedures we offer

Our cardiac surgeons and thoracic surgeons prioritize minimally invasive, video-assisted procedures whenever possible. By using a series of tiny incisions, as opposed to one large one, we can provide you with minimal scarring, a faster recovery and shorter hospital stay. The types of cardiac surgeries we are able to offer you include:

  • Aortic aneurysm repair
  • Aortic valve replacement and repair
  • Cardiac valve surgery
  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Endoscopic vein harvest
  • Esophagogastrectomy
  • Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) device implantation
  • Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation
  • Lobectomy
  • Mitral valve surgery
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Pulmonary valve repair
  • Thoracic aortic surgery
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) surgery
  • Tricuspid valve repair
  • Ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation

LAAC procedure

If you have experienced non-valvular atrial fibrillation, minimally invasive LAAC device implantation provides an alternative to stroke prevention medication.

Our multidisciplinary team of echocardiographers, cardiac electrophysiologists, cardiac surgeons and anesthesiologists work together to ensure that the LAAC device offers comparable overall protection against stroke. Further, an LAAC provides superior reduction in possible complications, compared to taking warfarin. The device also allows you to taper off of warfarin after as few as 45 days.

TAVR procedure

If you are experiencing aortic stenosis, but may present a high risk for traditional open surgery, the TAVR procedure is the least invasive surgical option. With TAVR, our surgeons replace your heart valve via a catheter, where an expandable valve is placed in your femoral artery. Afterwards, the new valve is implanted within the diseased aortic valve.

With TAVR, a valve can be replaced in as little as 90 minutes and recovery takes mere days. Following the procedure, you will be moved to an intensive or cardiac care unit, and should be up and walking within 24-to-48 hours after surgery. The typical hospital stay is three-to-five days, and your doctor will determine when you are ready to move to a standard hospital room.

Vascular surgery

The vascular system contains an intricate network of veins and arteries that carry blood to every part of the body. Serious problems that can arise in this system include aneurysms, carotid artery disease, peripheral vascular disease or stroke. While medication or exercise can often be used to treat or decrease future risks, surgery may, at times, become necessary. When this happens, we are proud to have vascular surgeons who, like our cardiac surgeons, can primarily accomplish surgery through minimally invasive means.

Aneurysm treatment

An aneurysm is an abnormal bulge occurring in a blood vessel. Aneurysms can rupture, creating a potentially life-threatening situation, so they must be carefully monitored by a physician. Our doctors are able to treat several types of aneurysms, including intracerebral aneurysms and abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), the most common type.

AAAs occur in the aorta, the largest artery in the human body. An AAA passes through the lower abdomen, where it typically can be diagnosed through a standard physical. Intracerebral aneurysms, however, are a significant cause for concern. These occur in the brain, often at the base, just inside the skull. They materialize when the blood vessel weakens and develops a blister-like injury that can become increasingly thin, to the point of rupturing. The result can be a stroke, coma or death. We are able to treat both intracerebral and aortic aneurysms with minimally invasive catheter procedures.

CAD treatments

The carotid arteries are located on either side of the neck, and carry oxygenated blood to the brain. Like any blood vessel, the carotid arteries can develop a buildup of a waxy substance called plaque. As plaque accumulates and hardens, it narrows the carotid arteries, increasing the risk of a blockage from a blood clot or dislodged piece of plaque. When this occurs, the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, causing a stroke.

A surgical treatment we offer for CAD is a carotid endarterectomy. During this procedure, one of our vascular surgeons will remove plaque from the carotid arteries, restoring proper blood flow to the brain.

PVD treatment

As we age, blood vessels begin to narrow and lose their elasticity. In some instances, this produces PVD, a condition that lessens blood flow to arms, legs and feet. If you are experiencing this condition, you may benefit from peripheral vascular surgery. During surgery, your vascular surgeon will restore healthy circulation by bypassing the blocked blood vessel with a healthy vessel. Given the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, your recovery should be swift.

Stroke treatment

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. It occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, depriving the brain of essential oxygen and nutrients. When this occurs, brain cells begin to die almost immediately.

In the case of hemorrhagic strokes, our surgeons work to control bleeding and the pressure it puts on the brain. They also deliver vital medications to the site of the stroke, removing blood clots in the case of ischemic strokes, as well as any plaque that may be in the vessels so that they can prevent future strokes.

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