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Heart & Vascular Center

Why Our Opinion Matters

The heart and heart surgery program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University is consistently ranked among the best in the nation by U.S.News & World Report. With convenient locations in St. Louis' Central West End, West County, South County, and Rolla, MO, our cardiology and cardiovascular specialists work with referring physicians throughout the region to provide the best heart care available.

Washington University physicians at Barnes-Jewish Hospital have pioneered many procedures, from ablation therapies to valve repair and replacement, and permanent implantation of ventricular assist devices. Our patients have been among the first to benefit from advanced angioplasty techniques, coronary bypass procedures, valvuloplasty and heart transplantation. Our cardiac surgeons see more than 1,300 patients each year and are committed to providing the best and most innovative care.

Valvular Expertise

The Center for the Treatment of Valvular Heart Disease was created to better care for the growing number of patients with valvular disease. Our valve specialists work with referring physicians to develop carefully customized treatment plans that integrate the history of each patient with an accurate assessment of physical condition. When it comes to minimally invasive valve repair and replacement, our cardiac surgeons have more experience than any team in the region, which results in superior outcomes for our patients.

Leaders in Cardiac Procedures

Barnes-Jewish Hospital provides one of the most advanced cardiac procedure services in the Midwest. Washington University electrophysiologists at Barnes-Jewish were the first in the region to perform catheter ablation to treat atrial fibrillation; and it is one of only a few centers in the country to offer alcohol septal ablation to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In addition, Barnes-Jewish Hospital is a regional pacemaker center. It was one of the first centers in the country to offer arrhythmia ablation procedures, and one of the first to implant implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs).

Innovative Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation

For people with atrial fibrillation who fail medical therapy, Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital offer catheter-based or surgical treatment to restore a regular heartbeat. In 1987, the Cox-Maze procedure to treat atrial fibrillation was developed at our hospital. Over the years, the procedure has been modified to and improved, and now requires fewer incisions on the heart with equivalent results. To this day, we have the best-published cure rates in the world for this procedure.

Dedicated Heart Failure Center

Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital have a dedicated heart failure center with the highest volume program in the region for treating patients with advanced heart failure. The program also is among the largest in the world. We are recognized as one of the leading medical centers in the world for developing innovative treatments and medical management strategies for patients with heart failure.

Our heart failure specialists care for patients waiting for transplantation and those for whom transplantation is not an option. Because of the integrated team approach and medical and surgical expertise, our heart specialists are often able to develop strategies for patients that postpone their need for a transplant – sometimes forever.

As pioneers in clinical innovation, Washington University heart failure specialists at Barnes-Jewish Hospital have been at the forefront of assist-device research. For appropriate heart failure patients, cutting-edge approaches, such as biventricular pacing and mechanical assist devices are an option. Ventricular assist devices serve as a "bridge to transplant," buying time for patients waiting for a heart. Patients with implanted ventricular assist devices receive top priority with regard to limited donor heart allocation. In select patients, the devices may enable patients to avoid transplant altogether.

Active Heart Transplant Program

Since Barnes-Jewish Hospital's heart transplant program began in 1985, surgeons have performed more heart transplants than any other transplant team in the region. Our team also was the first in Missouri to perform a simultaneous heart and lung transplant.

Despite taking on some of the most challenging cases – patients who may have been turned down at other centers – the heart transplant program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital has achieved very strong survival rates. The survival rate of patients who receive heart transplants at Barnes-Jewish Hospital is well above national averages. In addition, more than 70 percent of the hospital's heart transplant recipients are fully rehabilitated and able to lead normal lives.


To make an appointment or for more information about the Heart 2nd Opinion Program, call .

Ralph Damiano, MD

Cardiac Surgeon, Barnes-Jewish & Washington University Heart & Vascular Center

 

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