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Open Heart Surgery

Cardiovascular surgeons perform 30 to 40 open heart surgeries a week to treat coronary heart disease and replace damaged heart valves at Baptist Health Lexington.


The open-heart surgery facilities at Baptist Health Lexington are located on the second floor of Building D (1740) and include:

  • A dedicated holding area where open heart patients are prepared for surgery
  • Six dedicated open-heart surgery suites
  • A 12-bed cardiothoracic intensive care unit where patients are cared for immediately after surgery
  • A special waiting area for family members and friends

About Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG)

Coronary artery bypass surgery is used to reduce the symptoms of coronary artery disease and to prevent future heart attacks in patients who have major blockages in their coronary arteries. These blockages are the result of atherosclerosis, a condition which causes fatty deposits to build up in the arteries, slowing the flow of blood. When atherosclerosis involves the coronary arteries, the result is coronary heart disease. Over time, as the coronary arteries continue to narrow, angina (pain or discomfort in the chest which occurs during exercise or emotional stress) or a heart attack can result.

Coronary artery bypass surgery uses vein grafts taken from a patient's leg, arm or inside the chest to create a "bypass" or detour so blood can go around the blockages in the coronary artery and reach the heart. At Baptist Health Lexington, several new surgical approaches to coronary artery bypass grafting are now available:

  • Endoscopic saphenous vein harvesting allows vein grafts to be taken from the leg without the need for a large surgical incision. The result is much more rapid healing of the harvest site with less pain and scarring.

Minimally Invasive Bypass Surgery

This surgery offers an alternative to coronary artery bypass grafts for patients who have only one or two blocked arteries. This operation uses a combination of ports (small holes) in the chest and a small incision made directly over the coronary artery that needs to be bypassed. The result is more rapid healing of the chest incision with less pain and scarring.

About Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

Heart valve replacement surgery has become a common operation. There are many reasons why a heart valve may not be working as well as it should. A small defect that has been present since birth may worsen over time. Certain diseases such as rheumatic fever or bacterial infections may cause scarring or destroy heart valves. In addition, the aging process can weaken or harden heart valves. A heart valve that is seriously deformed, degenerated or destroyed can be removed surgically and replaced with a new valve mechanism at Baptist Health Lexington.