The cardiovascular experts of the Heart & Vascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are known world-wide as leaders in heart health. Our physicians pioneered landmark treatments that are now the standard of care and we continue to innovate, seeking the very best solutions for heart disease.
We offer highly integrated care with specialists in cardiovascular medicine, cardiac surgery and vascular and endovascular surgery working together to offer a collaborative and personal experience for patients and families.
Patients benefit from the streamlined focus of our Shapiro Cardiovascular Center where all procedures and tests, from diagnostic evaluations to interventional catheterizations to minimally invasive robotic techniques, as well as traditional open procedures are performed by highly trained and experienced board certified cardiologists and surgeons.
Procedures and Tests
Adult Congenital Heart Defect Repair
Patients born with heart conditions may have surgery to reduce the effects of defects or to correct the problem. Surgery includes procedures to repair heart chambers, valves, arteries and veins. Learn more about adult congenital heart defect repair.
Alcohol Septal Ablation
During a heart catheterization, your doctor will insert wires and balloons to locate the septal artery which supplies the enlarged area of the heart muscle. Once the artery is located, a small amount of absolute alcohol is infused through the balloon to the artery. Learn more about alcohol septal ablation.
Traditional open surgery replaces the diseased portion of the aorta with an artificial graft. Minimally invasive endovascular repair guides a stent-graft to the weakened area of the aorta wall with imaging guidance through a small groin incision. Learn more about aneurysm repair.
Aortic Root Repair and Replacement
A section of the aorta and aortic valve are removed and replaced with artificial or biological materials. Valve-sparing aortic root repair allows the aortic valve to remain in place. Learn more about aortic root repair and replacement.
Aortic Valve Repair and Replacement
Aortic valve surgery repairs damaged valves by tightening or loosening aorta valve leaflets, located between the left ventricle and the aorta. Replacement surgery removes a faulty valve and substitutes an artificial valve. Learn more about aortic valve repair and replacement.
A contrast agent is injected through a very small hollow tube, or catheter, which is advanced from a blood vessel in the groin or arm through the aorta into the chambers or arteries of the heart. X-rays are taken to locate abnormalities. Learn more about cardiac catheterization.
Cardiac CT is a non-invasive procedure that can be used to evaluate various parts of the heart. Learn more about Cardiac CT.
Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
This imaging technology is used to evaluate the function and structure of the heart and blood vessels. Learn more about cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT)
This procedure uses pulses of electricity to help the ventricles, or the lower chambers of the heart, beat correctly. CRT is used for patients with moderate to severe heart failure and helps coordinate the beating of the ventricles when they are not coordinated. Learn more about cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).
Cardiac Ultrasound (Echocardiography)
Echocardiography uses sound waves to visualize the heart and surrounding structures. Learn more about cardiac ultrasound (echocardiography).
Cardiopulmonary Stress Test
An advanced cardiopulmonary exercise test (A-CPET) is used to pinpoint the source of a patient’s dyspnea (shortness of breath) and to determine their exercise limitation. Learn more about cardiopulmonary stress tests.
Cardiovascular Nuclear Medicine
The injection of small amounts of safe chemical tracing agents can be used to assess blood flow, evaluate heart function, determine the extent and location of a heart attack, assess inflammation within the heart muscle and vessels, and investigate potential infection in the heart. Learn more about cardiovascular nuclear medicine.
Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting
During this minimally invasive procedure, a very small hollow tube, or catheter, is advanced from a blood vessel in the groin to the carotid arteries. Once the catheter is in place, a balloon may be inflated to open the carotid artery and a stent is put in place to keep the artery open. Learn more about carotid angioplasty and stenting.
Endarterectomy is the surgical removal of plaque from a carotid artery that has become narrowed or blocked. Performed through a small incision in the neck, carotid endarterectomy can help prevent stroke. Learn more about carotid endarterectomy.
This procedure guides a small tube, or catheter, through the veins and into the heart where electrodes at the end of the catheter are used to correct heart arrhythmia. Learn more about catheter ablation.
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG Surgery)
CABG restores blood flow in the coronary arteries which have become blocked because of coronary artery disease. Surgery involves removing a healthy blood vessel or graft from one area of the body and using it to bypass the blocked coronary artery. Learn more about coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG Surgery).
Coronary Angioplasty and Stenting
A blocked blood vessel is opened with minimally invasive balloon angioplasty—with or without arterial stent placement—to improve blood circulation to affected extremities and other vital organs. Learn more about coronary angioplasty and stenting.
Endarterectomy is the surgical removal of plaque from the inner walls of the coronary artery that has become blocked or narrowed. Arteries are then reconstructed to allow better blood flow. Learn more about coronary endarterectomy.
This procedure creates a vein that removes and returns blood to the body for long-term use for patients undergoing dialysis. Learn more about dialysis access.
Embolectomy is the emergency surgical removal of an embolism, a blood clot that develops in a blood vessel in the body and travels to an artery, forming a blockage that prevents blood flow. Learn more about embolectomy.
Highly-skilled surgeons treat complex vascular conditions by employing the endovascular technique of inserting a catheter directly into the blood vessel to deliver medications or miniature surgical instruments. Such surgeries can include aortic valve or aortic aneurysm repair. Learn more about endovascular repair.
Exercise Tolerance Test
This test is helpful in evaluating a patient’s heart function during exertion and detecting the presence of coronary artery disease and arrhythmias. Learn more about the exercise tolerance test.
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
ECMO is a treatment that uses a pump to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream, allowing the patient's damaged lungs or heart time to recover. Learn more about extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
A heart transplant is a surgical procedure performed to remove the diseased heart from a patient and replace it with a healthy one from an organ donor. Learn more about heart transplantation.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
An ICD is an electronic device that constantly monitors heart rate and rhythm and automatically corrects irregular heartbeats (called arrhythmias) using electrical pulses. It is placed in the chest or abdomen. Learn more about implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs).
Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
Surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery through a small incision using special surgical instruments. Offering fewer side-effects and a quicker recovery, minimally invasive procedures can be used for coronary artery bypass, valve repair and replacement, and aneurysms. Learn more about minimally invasive cardiac surgery.
Mitral Valve Repair and Replacement
Mitral valve surgery repairs damaged valves by tightening or loosening mitral valve leaflets, located between the left atrium and the left ventricle. Replacement surgery removes a faulty valve and substitutes an artificial valve. Learn more about mitral valve repair and replacement.
A pacemaker is a small device that is used to regulate your heart rhythm. The pacemaker system is surgically implanted under the skin in your chest, just beneath your collarbone. Learn more about pacemaker implantation.
Peripheral Bypass Surgery
Open heart surgical bypass operations are performed to restore circulation to affected extremities and vital organs when arterial blockages are diffuse or severe. Treatment is designed depending on the degree of symptoms, overall medical status, and the anatomy of the arterial blockages. Learn more about peripheral bypass surgery.
Septal myectomy is an open heart procedure to reduce thickened septum between the ventricles of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Sometimes it is performed along with mitral valve repair surgery. Learn more about septal myectomy.
A stent graft is a large metal stent (a tube inserted in a blood vessel) sheathed in a tube of woven synthetic. The stent graft is inserted in a blood vessel during a catheterization procedure and is used to keep coronary, carotid and peripheral arteries open and to repair aortic aneurysms. Learn more about stent grafts.
An open heart procedure done through a sternotomy (chest) incision, as are most cardiac surgical procedures, a thromboendarterectomy removes fibrous tissue or clots from the pulmonary arteries. Learn more about thromboendarterectomy.
Clot busters, medically known as thrombolytics, are used to dissolve blood clots that form in the heart, blood vessels or lungs, especially during a heart attack. Thrombolytic therapy can significantly raise a patient's chances for survival after a heart attack. Learn more about thrombolytic therapy.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
TAVR is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that replaces the aortic valve with an artificial one without removing the damaged valve. It is done for older people with aortic stenosis who are at high risk for open surgery. Learn more about transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) surgery.
Transcatheter Potts Shunt (TPS)
TPS is a procedure for pulmonary artery stenosis and tricuspid atresia, that creates an anastomosis or connection between the descending aorta and the left pulmonary artery. Learn more about the transcatheter Potts shunt (TPS).
This procedure is performed on patients with inoperable coronary artery disease. The surgeon uses a laser to burn a tiny hole from the outside of the heart muscle to the inside of the heart. When the heart pumps, blood is pushed into the heart muscle through this channel, creating a second blood supply. Learn more about transmyocardial revascularization.
Transvenous Lead Extraction
The extraction of leads, the wires attached to implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) devices, is necessary when leads malfunction or become infected. This delicate surgery may be done with a laser device that breaks up scar tissue built up around the leads, so they can be removed safely. Learn more about transvenous lead extraction.
Tricuspid and Pulmonic Valve Repair and Replacement
This valve surgery repairs or replaces damaged valves of the tricuspid (between the right atrium and the right ventricle) and the pulmonic or pulmonary valve which lies between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery. Learn more about tricuspid and pulmonic valve repair and replacement.
Varicose Vein Treatment
Varicose veins are enlarged veins that are visible through the skin and may appear as blue or purple twisted, knot-like cords. Varicose veins can occur anywhere in the body, but are more commonly found on the legs. Learn more about varicose vein treatment.
Vascular imaging is used to evaluate blood vessels – with the exception of the coronary arteries, which are assessed with a CT scan – and help diagnose conditions associated with abnormal blood flow. Learn more about vascular imaging.
Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs)
Ventricular assist devices are implantable mechanical pumps that support heart function and blood flow in patients with advanced heart failure. Learn more about ventricular assist devices (VADs).
This page was last modified on 7/7/2016