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Heart & Vascular Institute

Lancaster General Health Physicians Cardiothoracic Surgery

Heart Center > Our Services


Our surgeons are skilled in all aspects of cardiothoracic surgery. We have particular expertise in a number of complex operations such as heart valve repair (rather than replacement with artificial valves), surgery for abnormal heart rhythms, and surgery for aneurysms of the thoracic aorta. We are fully certified to perform many other surgical procedures as well.

Cardiovascular surgery

Cardiac surgery refers to an operation on the heart which most commonly utilizes cardiopulmonary bypass (i.e. the heart-lung machine). The heart-lung machine consists of a specialized pump which temporarily substitutes for the pumping function of the heart and an oxygenator device which replaces the function of the lungs. This machine allows our surgeons to transiently empty and stop the heart from beating, so that meticulous operations can be performed. A perfusionist is a specialized member of the surgical team who operates the heart-lung machine during open heart surgery. Our team of perfusionists offers the most state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to ensure that the conduct of cardiopulmonary bypass is as safe as possible for our patients. Our surgeons utilize various techniques to optimally preserve heart function during the course of the operation. Read More.

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