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Groundbreaking heart surgeries performed daily at Maimonides

Cardiac surgeons at the Maimonides Heart & Vascular Center perform the most advanced surgeries every day – and have the lowest readmission rates in New York City according to the New York State Department of Health.

Dr. Greg Ribakove, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the Maimonides Heart & Vascular Center, said, “The low readmission rate means we are getting more and more folks back to health without setbacks. The real winners here are our patients. This is a direct testament to the skills of the surgeons on our team.”

Among the many groundbreaking heart surgeries that are regularly performed at the Maimonides Heart & Vascular Center, are Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Destination Therapy, Convergent Procedure for Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) and Minimally Invasive Valve & Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) Surgery.

“Our surgeons were among the first in the nation to perform minimally-invasive valve surgery and beating-heart bypass surgery – approaches that increase your safety and return you to an active life much sooner,” explained Ribakove. “Minimizing your risk so you can fully enjoy life is what it’s all about.”

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Destination Therapy – This innovative program at Maimonides received certification from the Joint Commission in 2012. An LVAD is a pump that takes over the function of a heart weakened by congestive heart failure (CHF). LVADs have historically been used as temporary assistance in patients waiting for heart transplants.

The new LVAD “Destination Therapy,” though, serves as an alternative for CHF patients who are unable to receive a transplant. With an LVAD permanently in place, patients no longer have their activities limited by end stage heart failure and can live longer and more productive lives. Maimonides was first and remains the only hospital in Brooklyn certified to provide this surgical option for CHF patients.

Convergent Procedure for Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) – The Heart & Vascular Center at Maimonides is at the forefront of treatment for A-Fib, an often dangerous heart rhythm disorder that can lead to strokes. A-Fib is one of the most common heart arrhythmias in the world, characterized by an irregular heartbeat, dizziness and shortness of breath.

The Convergent Procedure for A-Fib is an advanced form of heart ablation. Utilizing radio frequency to “rewire” the heart’s electrical system, cardiologists ablate the inside of the heart’s chambers while surgeons ablate the outside, thereby correcting the disorder. Maimonides was among the first hospitals in the nation to provide this treatment, and continues to be the only hospital in the metropolitan area to provide both components under one anesthesia.

Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery – Minimally invasive valve surgery provides patients with outcomes that are equal or superior to conventional open-heart surgery, with the additional benefits of fewer complications, smaller incisions, reduced risk of bleeding, fewer transfusions and shortened recovery time.

Although patient-friendly, minimally invasive valve surgery is technically demanding and requires significant investment in time and training, surgeons at Maimonides are not only highly experienced, but have also played key roles in the development and refinement of minimally invasive valve surgery techniques.

Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) – CABG surgery is the most commonly performed “open heart” operation worldwide. The purpose is to bypass blockages of the coronary arteries to restore healthy blood flow. The traditional technique for CABG involves an incision down the front of the chest through the breastbone, but smaller incisions can be used in many circumstances.

At Maimonides, newer techniques have been implemented, including “off-pump” or “beating heart” surgery during which the heart continues to pump blood to the body while the surgeon conducts the bypass operation. These techniques have been shown to decrease the amount of pain and bleeding after surgery, and assure a faster recovery.

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