Heart and Vascular Treatment and Procedures

For a cardiologist at St. John’s, call 855.53.HEART.

The cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and vascular surgeons at St. John’s Heart and Vascular Institute offer a range of diagnostic, interventional and surgical treatment options to address your heart and vascular conditions. Our team utilizes a collaborative approach and treats each individual’s unique needs.

At St. John’s, you will find highly skilled physicians, offering the latest technologies across the entire spectrum of specialties. Additionally, our network of cardiac care allows you to access primary cardiac services in your own community, while more advanced services are available to at our facilities in Camarillo and Oxnard.

Non-Invasive Cardiology
St. John’s provides non-invasive cardiology testing, which aids in the detection of many cardiac conditions using technology such as ultrasound or nuclear scans. The goal of the non-invasive cardiologist is to identify the potential for future cardiovascular problems. Some tests might include stress tests, treadmill testing, Holter monitors, pacemaker analysis, echocardiograms or electrocardiograms (EKGs).

Heart and Peripheral Vascular Interventions
St. John’s and our team of heart experts offer comprehensive diagnostic procedures, medical management and, if necessary, state-of-the-art interventions for the treatment of heart and vascular disease. When faced with a serious heart condition, however, surgery may be required. St. John’s team of cardiovascular surgeons and registered nurses specialize in open-heart surgery, coronary artery bypass surgery, valve repair and adult congenital abnormalities.

Beating Heart Surgery
Less invasive heart surgery, which is conducted to fix problems with heart vessels or valves, began more than five years ago at St. John’s. This less invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgery or beating heart surgery (also known as off-pump surgery), eliminates the use of a heart-lung machine during open-heart surgery. In 1997, St. John’s Regional Medical Center became one of the pioneer institutions to offer off-pump CABG, which does away with the heart-lung machine and enables cardiac surgeons to operate on a still beating heart. While the heart-lung machine provides a motionless operating field for surgeons, it carries risks. Patients who have the off-pump procedure have a lower risk of pulmonary, kidney and brain complications, including reducing the risk of declining mental ability.

Valve Repair and Valve Surgery
The newest innovation in cardiac treatment at St. John’s, our renowned cardiac surgeons use the latest advances to perform minimally invasive mitral valve repair. The valves of the heart can become diseased and malfunction. Some valves become narrowed, or stenosed, and block the flow of blood. Others can become leaky or regurgitant, allowing blood to flow backward through them after the heart pumps it out into the body. During heart valve surgery, one or more heart valves can be repaired or replaced. Repair means the valve is tailored to help it work better. Replacement means your own diseased valve is removed and a new valve is inserted in its place. The benefits of this procedure are remarkable.

Minimally Invasive Valve Repair
If you are undergoing an aortic or a mitral valve procedure, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive valve surgery. Instead of performing a full sternal (chest) split incision, the aortic and mitral valve can now be operated on through a small incision between the ribs in the right side of your chest. You and your surgeon can discuss plans for surgery and any other procedures you may need.

This procedure provides remarkable benefits, including:

  • Significantly decreased pain and complications after surgery;
  • Better cosmetic results (no visible scar vs. a 10-inch scar from traditional procedures; for women, the scar is almost unnoticeable as the scar may be beneath the breast); and
  • Faster recovery time, which allows you to return to your daily activities in less time.

Endovascular Repair (AAA) Surgery
St. John’s was the first hospital in Ventura County to offer endovascular repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), a procedure that allows repair of the aneurysm through a minimally invasive technique. St. John’s cardiovascular surgeons, Dr. Bruce Toporoff and Dr. Richard Declusin, perform the surgery at St. John’s Regional Medical Center.

Up to two million Americans have AAA disease, but because most do not exhibit symptoms, only about 200,000 cases are actually diagnosed each year. AAA is the 13th leading cause of death in the United States, resulting in approximately 15,000 mortalities each year. Many of these deaths could be prevented with AAA screening programs and timely intervention.

In an endovascular repair of AAA, a covered stent graft is inserted into the abdominal aorta to exclude the aneurysm using two small incisions in the groin. This approach eliminates the need for opening the abdomen surgically, greatly limits the patient’s postoperative discomfort and shortens recovery time. This alternative treatment may be used for patients who are not good candidates for open heart surgery, or for those who prefer not to undergo open-heart surgery.

Cardiac Rehabilitation
Regardless of how successful your surgery, you will need some level of rehabilitation following heart interventions. more

Take an online heart health assessment now or register for a “Know Your Numbers” low-cost heart screening today. You can also check out our Women’s Guide to Beating Heart Disease.

To find a doctor affiliated with St. John’s Heart and Vascular Institute, call 855.53.HEART.

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