Reoperative Heart Surgery

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As people who have had previous heart surgeries age and live longer, reoperative (also called "repeat" or "redo") heart surgery is becoming more common.

A repeat or redo heart surgery that helps the heart beat more efficiently can greatly improve quality of life.

At UVA, we do many different types of repeat heart surgeries:

  • Percutaneous (done with a needle-puncture of the skin)
  • Minimally invasive (performed with small incisions in the chest)
  • Traditional open sternotomy (breast bone is opened to perform the surgery)

Less Invasive Treatment Options

Percutaneous Procedures for Aortic and Mitral Valves

UVA is the only hospital in Virginia performing percutaneous aortic valve replacement and percutaneous mitral valve repair. We're also one of the few hospitals in the country that perform both percutaneous aortic and mitral surgery. 

Most procedures to repair or replace aortic and mitral valves are done with traditional or minimally invasive open heart surgery. Many patients can't have these procedures because their age, health and previous surgical procedures put them at high risk. These patients benefit from percutaneous valve repairs, which are done with a small incision in the leg or on the side of the chest and without stopping the heart during the procedure.

Redo Aneurysm Repairs

Aneurysms are a progressive disease, which means the condition usually worsens over time. Patients who've had one aneurysm are at risk for the development of others, especially in other areas of the heart. UVA's surgeons are experienced in repairing aneurysms in areas close to a previously repaired aneurysm. 

Heart Surgeries We Repeat

Smaller hospitals often refer their reoperative heart surgery patients to UVA because of our expertise. We're also the referral center for patients with complex heart diseases, especially those who have had prior heart surgery.

Reoperative cardiac procedures at UVA include the following:

  • Redo heart valve repairs (aortic and mitral)
  • Redo heart bypass surgery
  • Redo aneurysm repairs

Benefits of redo heart surgery include:

  • Longer life expectancy
  • More energy and less fatigue
  • Less chest pain