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Cardiovascular, Minimally Invasive and Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Heart and Lung Surgery

Our cardiothoracic surgeons specialize in treating the heart, lungs and esophagus with advanced technology. Our physicians and nurse practitioners provide quality surgical and outpatient care.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 775-525-9151.

Cardiovascular Surgery

Our team performs many types of cardiovascular procedures. The right one for you depends on your condition and the type of cardiovascular disease you have.

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery

When blood flow is blocked within the coronary artery, surgery may be required to create a new path for the blood to flow into the heart. This procedure involves utilizing arteries and veins to bypass blocked arteries. This helps improve blood flow, reduce chest pain and decrease mortality of our patients.

Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

Off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting gives the patients the option to improve blood flow without a cardio-pulmonary bypass machine. During this procedure, surgeons use advanced technology to keep the heart beating while they operate.

Endoscopic Vein Harvesting

For coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, surgeons need healthy veins to create bypass grafts. To remove the vein, surgeons use a minimally invasive endoscopic vein harvesting technique. This helps reduce pain after the procedure and decreases your risk of infection.

Aortic Valve Replacement

The aortic valve can fail either by becoming narrowed or by leaking blood back into the heart. When the aortic valve narrows, it restricts blood from exiting the heart.

During an aortic valve replacement, surgeons replace the failing aortic valve with an artificial valve to improve blood flow to the heart. This procedure can often be done with minimally invasive surgery, which offers several benefits including reduced trauma to the body and a quicker recovery.

Mitral Valve Repair/Replacement

When the mitral valve is damaged, it can lead to problems with arrhythmias, pulmonary hypertension and heart failure. When this happens, repair or replacement is needed. During valve replacement, surgeons remove the weak valve and replace it with an artificial valve.

Pericardial Window

Pericardial effusion (fluid) provides a cushion around the heart muscles. Too much fluid can constrict the heart, making it difficult to pump blood. Effusions can occur secondary to a disease or after surgery.

A pericardial window is a small incision in the pericardium to drain excess fluid surrounding the heart.

Aneurysm Repair

An aneurysm occurs when a weak part of the aorta bulges or expands. Oftentimes there are no symptoms. If it bursts, it could cause internal bleeding and even lead to shock or death.

An aneurysm repair is performed to replace the weak part of the aorta with a graft, or healthy piece of living tissue. Talk to your cardiovascular physician to see if you are at risk for an aneurysm.

Atrial Septal Defect Repair

Atrial septal defects are holes in the wall of the heart chambers, normally formed due to a congenital condition. Large holes may lead to blood flowing back into the chamber, which can cause the heart to work harder.

During an atrial septal defect repair procedure, the surgeon inserts a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) into a blood vessel and guides it to the heart. A mesh plug or patch is then used to repair the holes in the chamber wall.

Minimally Invasive and Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Diseases in the chest and lungs may require thoracic surgery. When possible, surgeons will recommend minimally invasive or robotically-assisted techniques. These advanced techniques can help reduce pain, scarring and complications during and after surgery.


A thoracotomy is an incision to gain access to the chest cavity. This is needed for certain surgical procedures involving the throat, lungs, heart, aorta or diaphragm. Thoracotomies give surgeons the access they need to perform specific procedures, such as tumor removal or heart transplant.


Your lungs have multiple separate divisions, called lobes, which help your lungs function as they should. A lobectomy may be required for certain infections or a diagnosis of cancer. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the affected lobe to prevent the disease or cancer from spreading to healthier lobes.

Lung Biopsy

A lung biopsy is performed by removing samples of lung tissue. The tissue is then examined for abnormalities. People at risk of lung disease or lung cancer may benefit from a lung biopsy.


A robotic thymectomy is a highly precise, minimally invasive surgical procedure that is performed to remove the thymus. The thymus is a small gland in the front of the chest that is involved with the immune system.

Mediastinal Mass Removal

A robotic mediastinal mass removal is a highly precise, minimally invasive surgical procedure that is performed to remove the thymus.

For more information about our Cardiothoracic Outpatient Program, please call 775-525-9151.

*Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if robotic surgery or minimally invasive surgery is right for you.

If you need a referral to a physician at Northern Nevada Health System, call our free physician referral service at 775-356-6662.