Heart & Vascular

The Heart and Vascular Institute

As the first hospital in New Jersey to successfully complete open heart surgery and to perform coronary bypass and angioplasty procedures, Saint Michael’s Medical Center continues to lead the way in the 21stcentury with leading-edge diagnostic and treatment services and world-class physician education and training. A pioneer in heart and vascular care, Saint Michael’s excels in caring for the community and teaching the next generation of health care providers.

Our Innovation

Saint Michael’s physicians have pioneered a number of new procedures, including minimally invasive heart surgery, valve repair in lieu of valve replacement, endoscopic radial artery and vein harvesting, and ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Other innovations include minimally invasive catheter-based endovascular techniques for the care of abdominal aortic aneurysms, carotid occlusive disease and peripheral vascular disease. The Institute also has one of only two non-invasive vascular laboratories in the state approved for both routine imaging studies and for visceral and abdominal vascular imaging.

These minimally invasive procedures, as performed by the highly skilled cardiovascular surgeons at Saint Michael’s, help prevent limb loss in a large percentage of patients who might otherwise have to sacrifice a foot, hand, arm or leg for a positive surgical result.

In addition, Saint Michael’s is the state’s only approved CREST site, making it just one of only 85 hospitals in North America selected to participate in the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy vs. Stenting Trial. The medical center also is part of the international FREEDOM Trial that is studying coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) vs. drug-eluting stent procedures in diabetic patients, having already successfully performed more than 200 of these cutting edge procedures.

Our Experience

Saint Michael’s has the most experience in the region in robotic-assisted cardiovascular surgery. Such procedures combine the higher probability of a complication-free operation with an improved cosmetic result as robotic surgery requires only a two-to-three inch straight-line opening in the chest as opposed to an incision that can be a foot or more long for a standard open-heart surgery with hand-held instruments.

Among the robotic procedures commonly performed at The Heart and Vascular Institute are aortic valve replacement, mitral valve repair and replacement and coronary bypass surgery. Click here for a list of cardiovascular and thoracic surgical services provided at Saint Michael’s.

Two of the robotic surgical procedures at which Saint Michael’s excels are “beating heart surgery,” (also known as “off-pump surgery”) and second (or third) bypass surgeries.

  • In beating heart surgery, the heart is not stopped and the operation takes place as the organ continues to work. This reduces complications and the need for blood transfusions and is followed by a much shorter recovery time. The Heart and Vascular Institute has performed many beating-heart surgeries.
  • The Institute also performs second and third heart bypass surgeries – with most procedures taking place 10 to 15 years after the original operation – due to Saint Michael’s stellar record of positive patient outcomes and the clinical expertise of its surgical teams.

Our Experts

The Institute features a dedicated multidisciplinary team of highly trained cardiologists, cardiovascular anesthesiologists, critical-care intensivists, perfusionists, physical assistants, nurse practitioners, registered cardiovascular nurses, respiratory and physical therapists and social workers.

This assembly of health care professionals, together with experienced surgeons, provides the highest level of care in every phase of the patient’s surgery and recovery. Each operation involves at least 30 individuals working in concert to ensure successful patient outcomes.

Saint Michael’s also is an internationally recognized leader in physician education, sponsoring multiple residencies and fellowships each year in cooperation with local colleges and universities.

Our Mission & Legacy

The mission of The Heart and Vascular Institute at Saint Michael’s is to provide comprehensive, innovative and high quality cardiovascular surgical services to all patients – from pre-operative evaluation to advanced surgical interventions to post-op rehabilitation and lifestyle changes that can minimize future cardiac issues.

Saint Michael’s has been a leader in heart health in New Jersey for more than 75 years, opening the state’s first center dedicated to the study and treatment of cardiac disease in 1937 and establishing the first cardiac catheterization lab in New Jersey in 1949. Among the first-in-the-state procedural milestones achieved by The Heart and Vascular Institute at Saint Michael’s doctors are:

  • 1959: New Jersey’s first open-heart surgery.
  • 1967: New Jersey’s first coronary bypass.
  • 1981: New Jersey’s first coronary angioplasty.

Saint Michael's has a zero mortality rate in cardiologic procedures and a vascular-related amputation rate that has declined each of the past several years.

When your cardiovascular issues demand the services of skilled physicians using state-of-the-art technology, trust the regional health care leaders at The Heart and Vascular Institute at Saint Michael’s Medical Center.

For more information, please call (973) 877-5300. For physician offices to refer patients or schedule procedures, call (973) 877-2343