Cardiovascular surgery in Charleston, SC

Cardiovascular disease refers to various ailments of the heart and the blood vessels. The term cardiovascular disease, sometimes referred to as heart disease, can be quite serious and often requires medical attention from trained specialists.

Trident Health System's staff is trained in the latest minimally invasive and complex surgical techniques to repair damaged and diseased hearts and blood vessels. This allows our patients to experience a quicker recovery time and a longer, healthier life.

For more information on heart and vascular surgery or to schedule an appointment, call us at (843) 797-3463.

Heart and vascular surgeries we offer

Sometimes surgery is needed to repair a damaged or diseased heart. As part of Trident Health's comprehensive heart care program, our cardiovascular surgeons have the latest tools and techniques available to give you the care you need and help you recover quickly.

We offer a variety of cardiovascular procedures, including:

  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG)
  • Minimally invasive endoscopic vein harvesting
  • Implantable cardiac defibrillators and pacemakers
  • MAZE/arrhythmia surgeries
  • Minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve repair and replacement
  • Repair of adult congenital (present at birth) heart lesions

We are proud to provide patients with state-of-the-art operating rooms and an intensive care unit. The open-heart and cardiology intensive care unit is equipped with the latest advancements needed to evaluate and monitor patients following surgery.

Heart valve surgeries

During heart valve surgery, one or more valves are repaired or replaced. Whether a valve will be repaired or replaced can only be decided once surgery has begun. Your surgeon will talk with you about their plans for surgery and any other procedures you may need.

Repairing a valve

During a valve repair, a surgeon may sew a ring around the valve's opening to tighten it. Other parts of the valve may be cut, shortened, separated or made stronger to help the valve open and close correctly.

Replacing a valve

If a valve can't be repaired, it may be replaced with a prosthetic valve. Two kinds of prosthetic heart valves are available:

  • Mechanical valves are created from human-made materials. Lifetime therapy with an anticoagulant (sometimes called a blood thinner) is needed when these valves are used. This medication prevents blood clots from forming on or around the valve.
  • Biological valves are taken from pig, cow, or human tissue. These valves don't last as long as mechanical valves. But when tissue valves are used, long-term use of an anticoagulant often isn't needed.

Your doctor will talk with you about choosing the best valve for you. Factors weighed include your age, occupation, the size of your valve, how well your heart is working, your heart's rhythm, your ability to take an anticoagulant and how many new valves you need.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

TAVR can improve a patient's quality of life. It is a minimally invasive procedure that replaces a diseased aortic heart valve without open-heart surgery. Our specially trained team uses a balloon-expandable heart valve placed into the heart through a catheter.

At Trident Health, patients living in Charleston and surrounding communities have access to an experienced TAVR team. This procedure is for patients considered too high risk for traditional heart valve replacement or those who were previously considered inoperable.

Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC)

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a type of heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) that can cause blood to collect in a sac within the heart's left side. Such pooling can lead to clots, and if a clot travels to the brain, it can cause a cerebrovascular accident (stroke).

Surgeons at Trident Medical Center were the first in South Carolina to implant a next-generation device to reduce stroke risk for patients with AFib. The LAAC device can effectively reduce stroke risk and eliminate the need for blood thinners.