my aortic valve replacement,
I hiked up Slide Mountain
Minimally Invasive Bloodless Heart Surgery Center
Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD
Director, Minimally Invasive and
Bloodless Heart Surgery
Aultman Heart Center
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery and Bloodless Heart Surgery techniques have revolutionized and continue to shape our specialty with highly sophisticated and effective ways to treat heart disease. We are continuously evolving towards better outcomes and a "low impact" and "scarless" approach that has radically changed our patients' surgical experience. Heart surgery recovery times with this approach are much shorter. Even the elderly and frail patients can often return to their homes and families two, three days after cardiac surgery with very little pain and a tiny scar. The scar is often completely hidden in the skin fold under the breast.
This website has been conceived as a down-to-earth guide to help and inform anybody who needs a heart procedure and wants to know what the best options are today. I am always impressed by the fact that most people would shop much longer for a pair of shoes than for the best cardiac surgeon or heart operation for them. Keep on reading and you will become an informed consumer with the right questions to ask. Cardiac surgery as a specialty has evolved tremendously over the last twenty years and it offers the best results and options ever achieved in the history of medicine.
Over the span of my professional career in cardiothoracic surgery I had the opportunity to compare the clinical results and patients' comfort and recovery with traditional cardiothoracic surgery techniques versus bloodless and minimally invasive heart surgery techniques. My own clinical experience has shown that these new techniques allow the best clinical results. The most obvious advantages are less pain, less bleeding, less wound infections, a quicker recovery and return to a productive life style, superior cosmetic results. These conclusions have been corroborated by innumerable scientific articles in the surgical literature confirming these same clinical advantages. As we explore these topics, I will quote relevant bibliography for those of you who have an academic interest in this field or simply want to get more scientific information. I encourage you to send me your comments or questions about this website or any scientific literature on minimally invasive heart surgery.
Many heart patients and their families are intimidated and confused by the complexity of this field and find it increasingly difficult to make the right choice for themselves or their loved ones. Some of us have evolved very successfully towards new techniques and technologies. These breakthroughs have created a new, "gentle touch" surgical experience that is now available to the vast majority of our patients by the hands of expert minimally invasive heart surgeons. Even the elderly and frail patient can enjoy the best results with a smooth and quick recovery after bypass surgery or a minimally invasive mitral valve repair or aortic valve replacement. Minimally Invasive ASD repairs and Atrial Myxoma Surgery is now routinely offered to most patients.
In most women the surgical scar can be completely hidden in the skin fold underneath the breast, with the best cosmetic results and an excellent repair of their heart problem. This type of surgery is also known as Scarless Heart Surgery. You definitely don't need to be a movie star or a fashion model to request this type of cardiac surgery. All patients are routinely evaluated to see if they can be suitable candidates for a Minimally Invasive approach.
For those of you who are interested in a specific heart problem, I have divided this vast subject under several headings that cover the most frequent cardiovascular pathologies. This website is designed to be user friendly and very easy to navigate. Links to relevant topics, surgical videos and pictures are available in each page. Over the years in my professional practice, I have developed a simple and effective way to explain the mechanisms that cause heart disease as well as our high-tech minimally invasive heart surgery and medical techniques to treat it. You’ll find my explanations down-to-earth and filled with examples I draw from carpentry, plumbing, mechanical engineering, etc. You shouldn’t be surprised or offended by these examples. Our cardiovascular system could be simply described as a double pump (right and left side of the heart) connected to a network of pipes (veins and arteries) that allow oxygenated blood to reach and nourish every organ and cell in our body.
I will guide you step-by-step through what happens when a part of this system fails and what we do to figure out the problem and get the best results in fixing it! You’ll be able to understand how your coronary arteries work and how a stent, an angioplasty or minimally invasive bypass surgery can relieve chest pain or save a life. You’ll find out about the pros and cons of prosthetic heart valves we can use to perform a minimally invasive aortic valve replacement or a mitral valve repair. I will bring you up to date on hybrid valve and coronary surgery and its role in less invasive ways to treat a variety of heart conditions. I recently added a page on frequently asked questions based on the great questions and comments I received from my readers and this website's visitors. Please, feel free to browse in any order you like. It is a work in progress. If you don’t find what you are looking for, please revisit later or contact me directly. When it comes to your health, it truly pays to be an informed consumer. There is a lot we can do to have longer and better lives.
Dr.Ciuffo and his team will gladly answer all your questions about heart disease and the most advanced surgical options to treat any heart condition. We understand and respect your concerns and we know that it is your heart, your life, your choice.
Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD
Last update 04/12/2013
I'd be delighted to personally respond to all your inquiries and concerns.