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Heart Diseases We Treat With Surgery

Learning that you need surgery for heart disease can feel stressful. At the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center in St. Louis, you’re in expert hands.

Our cardiothoracic surgeons are international leaders in diagnosing and performing surgery for all types of cardiovascular disease. We have specialty training and years of experience in conditions ranging from coronary artery disease to rare genetic heart diseases. No matter what kind of heart disease you have, our experts can help.

Heart Diseases We Treat With Surgery

Our cardiac (heart) surgeons diagnose and treat all types of heart conditions. Our team includes doctors, nurses and other providers dedicated to your care before, during and after surgery. We work together to ensure that your procedure goes as smoothly as possible so you can focus on getting well.

You receive care from surgeons who lead their fields in groundbreaking research. Our surgeons have pioneered many of the latest surgical techniques for heart diseases. Learn more about your cardiac surgery options at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Arrhythmia and heart rhythm disorders

Arrhythmias are a group of conditions that affect the heart’s electrical system. Also called heart rhythm disorders, arrhythmias cause the heart to beat too rapidly, too slowly or irregularly.

Arrhythmias are treatable with medications, minimally invasive procedures and open surgery. Some types of arrhythmias can become life-threatening, possibly leading to sudden cardiac arrest and even death. Learn more about arrhythmia and the heart rhythm disorders we treat.


Cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the heart muscle, making it hard for the heart to pump blood. Certain types, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, can lead to heart failure.

Coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) develops when the heart arteries become narrow and stiff, preventing the heart from receiving enough blood. Without proper treatment, CAD can cause chest pain (angina pectoris) or a heart attack.

Heart surgeons at Barnes-Jewish Hospital are available around the clock to perform emergency surgery to treat heart attacks. We also operate to open blocked heart arteries and prevent heart attacks. Learn more about:

Diseases of the aorta

The aorta is the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the body. Aortic conditions can be life-threatening, and our heart surgeons have expertise in the complex procedures to repair them. Aortic conditions we treat include:

Heart failure

Many heart diseases and other conditions can weaken and damage the heart, leading to heart failure. The condition develops as the heart loses its ability to efficiently pump blood to the body.

Structural heart diseases

Structural heart diseases are conditions, or defects, that affect the heart’s structures, such as the valves, walls or chambers. Some people are born with a heart condition, and other types of structural heart disease develop later in life. Our heart surgeons treat structural heart conditions including:

Other diseases we treat with cardiac surgery

Our heart surgeons are second to none, providing expert treatment for people throughout the St. Louis region and the Midwest. Using the latest surgical techniques available, we treat every type of heart disease, including others not listed above, such as:

  • amyloid heart disease
  • chronic pulmonary embolism (frequent blood clots in lung arteries), which can lead to pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in lung arteries) 

Contact Us

To make an appointment with a Washington University heart specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 888-230-8832.