Cardiothoracic Procedures

Heller Cardiomyotomy

A cardiospasm, a tightening of tissue at the top of the stomach, can cause the esophagus to become obstructed, making swallowing difficult. A Heller cardiomyotomy involves making a surgical incision in the esophagus, at the connection with the stomach, to free the esophageal tissue enough to make swallowing more normal.

Mitral Valve Surgery

The mitral valve is the inflow valve between the left atrium and the left ventricle. Oxygenated blood from the lungs enters the left atrium, passes through the mitral valve, then on to the left ventricle that pumps blood throughout the body. Patients with a leaky mitral valve have blood going in the wrong direction during ventricular contraction. The left atrial pressure rises and fluid may accumulate in the lungs. This new method involves many of the same steps as the open surgery but eliminates one of the most painful steps, the need for fully opening the chest cavity.

Nissen Fundoplications

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can show itself as heartburn. The body allows stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus, which can cause burning in the abdomen, chest, throat and neck; swallowing difficulty; and a chronic cough, hoarseness or wheezing. Surgeons wrap the very top of the stomach around the esophagus where it enters the stomach. The stomach tissue helps support the sphincter muscle that keeps the stomach acid from traveling up the esophagus.

Aortic Valve Surgery

Minimally invasive aortic valve surgery is done through much smaller incisions (cuts) than the large cut needed for open aortic valve surgery. Blood flows out of your heart and into the aorta through a valve. This valve is called the aortic valve. It opens up so blood can flow out. It then closes, keeping blood from flowing backwards. Aortic valve surgery is done to either repair or replace the aortic valve in your heart.

Minimally Invasive Procedures Resources

Contact Us

Heller and Nissen patients contact:
Kelley McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Nurse Clinician Specialist
Office Phone: 319-384-7917
Scheduling: 319-356-7102
Mitral Valve Repair patients contact:
Kim Stevens, RN, BSN
Nurse Clinician Specialist
Office Phone: 319-384-8875
Scheduling: 319-356-7102

Minimally Invasive Procedures Resources

Contact Us

Marty Zahs, RN BSN
Surgical Robotics Nurse Coordinator
e-mail: marta-zahs@uiowa.edu
Phone: 319-374-7040
Hillary Recker, RN BSN
Surgical Robotics Nurse Coordinator
e-mail: hillary-recker@uiowa.edu
Phone: 319-353-6400