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Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons at UPMC in Central Pa.

The surgeons at UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute possess highly specialized skills, experience and education, allowing them to perform the most complex cardiovascular and thoracic surgeries, including minimally invasive options and advanced hybrid procedures.

What Is Cardiothoracic Surgery?

As the name implies, cardiothoracic surgery is a procedure performed to treat thoracic organs including the heart, lungs and esophagus, among other chest organs. The procedure can be minimally invasive or invasive, depending on the condition under treatment.

Who Is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon?

A cardiothoracic surgeon is a licensed medical doctor with specialized training in performing surgeries of the heart and chest. The physician diagnoses, treats and helps to prevent diseases of the heart and the thorax or chest.

Cardiothoracic surgeons normally undergo a high level of training for no less than six years to qualify for certification. The training may include vascular surgery as well as thoracic surgery, enabling the doctor to become competent in procedures of the heart and chest.

What Does a Cardiothoracic Surgeon Do?

The roles of a cardiothoracic surgeon are many, depending on their level of training. In a typical setting, a cardiothoracic surgeon performs the following functions:

  • Detects diseases of the thoracic organs
  • Operates on diseases of the lungs, chest, esophagus and heart
  • Performs surgeries on collapsed or damaged thoracic organs
  • Repairs chest wall deformities
  • Treats leaking or blocked heart valves
  • Operates on abnormal enlargement of the arteries
  • Monitors patients in intensive care<
  • Prescribes medications for post-operative care

What Is the Difference Between a Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Other Cardiac Surgeons?

Differentiating between a cardiothoracic surgeon and other cardiac surgeons can be a challenge given that they perform almost similar functions. However, a cardiothoracic surgeon's work is comparatively more demanding. Here are the major differences:

  • Cardiothoracic surgeons perform invasive procedures while cardiologists normally carry out minimally invasive procedures.
  • Cardiologists diagnose disorders and perform interventions on the heart. However, they cannot perform open-heart surgeries.
  • Cardiac surgeons concentrate on heart problems only, while cardiothoracic surgeons perform a wide range of surgeries on different organs in the thorax.
  • Cardiac surgeons often follow up with their patients for longer periods to provide post-operative care and monitor the condition of their patients.

Why Is Cardiothoracic Surgery Performed?

Cardiothoracic surgery might be necessary for several reasons. These include:

  • To treat coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • To treat and correct irregular heart rates and rhythms
  • To repair and replace damaged or diseased heart valves
  • To insert ventricular assist devices used to treat heart failure
  • To perform heart transplants
  • To restore blood flow to the heart
  • To reopen blocked arteries narrowed by plaque
  • To correct problems with heart valves

Does Cardiothoracic Surgery Have Any Risks?

As with any other form of surgery, cardiothoracic surgery has several risks. These include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Persistent pain after surgery
  • Air leakage from the lungs
  • Stroke
  • Death

To avoid these risks, seek the help of a reliable cardiothoracic surgeon. UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has highly skilled and specialized cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgeons with vast experience in performing various types of heart procedures.

For more information about our cardiothoracic services, please don't hesitate to give us a call at 717-231-8555 today.

About Our Surgical Team

Our surgical team participates in numerous advanced surgical clinical trials and is the only institution in Central Pennsylvania that is part of both percutaneous aortic and mitral valve trials. Once approved, these technologies may provide a less-invasive alternative to open heart surgery for valve diseases.

Our chief of cardiothoracic surgery, Mubashir Mumtaz, MD, FACS, FACC, is in the top 5 percent in the state of all surgeons' volumes. He is also the only surgeon in Pennsylvania to achieve a combined inpatient and 30-day mortality rated as better than expected for total valve surgery.

Recent Achievements

  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons' (STS) Three-Star Rating. At the national level, UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has received the Society of Thoracic Surgeons' (STS) highest Rating of Three-Stars for excellent heart surgery outcomes.
  • AtriClip® UPMC in central Pa. was the first hospital to utilize the AtriClip following the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for treating patients with atrial fibrillation. This procedure reduces the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.
  • CoreValve® System Clinical Trial. Dr. Mumtaz was one of the authors in the published landmark study comparing transcatheter aortic valve replacement to surgical aortic-valve replacement in patients with severe aortic stenosis who are at increased surgical risk. This new type of replacement aortic valve doesn't require a major operation and offers an option for people who are not candidates for regular aortic valve replacement. In the latest TAVR trial results, Dr. Mumtaz and Dr. Gada were authors in the published groundbreaking study comparing TAVR to surgery for low-risk patients, finding that TAVR is equivalent to aortic valve surgery.
  • MitraClip Therapy. UPMC in central Pa. has been instrumental in testing the MitraClip system for patients with mitral valve regurgitation, presenting findings at major cardiology conferences regarding symptom improvement and quality of life. The FDA has approved the MitraClip for percutaneous mitral valve repair for patients with significant, symptomatic degenerative mitral valve regurgitation who are at high risk for mitral valve surgery. UPMC in central Pa. is also involved in the COAPT trial, which is ongoing.
  • DEEP (Dual Epicardial and Endocardial Procedure) Clinical Study. This landmark study uses a hybrid ablation to treat atrial fibrillation patients who have failed anti-arrhythmic drug therapy and may have received up to two failed catheter ablations.

Cardiac Surgeons

Thoracic Surgeons

Vascular Surgeons

Need more information?

Phone: 717-231-8555


UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Medical Office Building 2
2005 Technology Parkway
Suite 300
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Main Number: 717-988-5864
Fax: 717-231-8568 

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Brady Building
205 South Front Street
4th floor
Harrisburg, PA 17104

Phone: 717-231-8555
Fax: 717-231-8568

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
214 Peach Orchard Road
McConnellsburg, PA 17233

Phone: 717-231-8555
Phone 2: 717-485-3155 

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
16324 Mount Airy Road
Lower Level
Shrewsbury, PA 17361

Phone: 717-849-5576
Fax: 717-718-9972

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
1600 6th Avenue
Suite 105
York, PA 17403

Phone: 717-849-5576
Fax: 717-718-9972 

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
1555 Highlands Drive
Suite 100
Lititz, PA 17543

Phone: 717-299-5000
Fax: 717-431-1205

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
233 College Avenue
Suite 203
Lancaster, PA 17603

Phone: 717-988-5864

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute (formerly Cardiac Consultants)
1697 Crown Avenue
Suite 100
Lancaster, PA 17601

Phone: 717-299-5000
Fax: 717-431-1205

UPMC Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine
Located at Hillside Medical Center
250 Fame Avenue
Suite 200 & 202
Hanover, PA 17331

Phone: 717-632-9263
Fax: 717-646-7439

UPMC Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine
Located at Outpatient Services at UPMC Memorial
1703 Innovation Drive
Suite 4120
York, PA 17408

Phone: 717-849-5606
Fax: 717-646-7439

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