Cardiac Surgery

When less invasive treatments are not options for you or are not working, heart surgery may be the most effective treatment option. Having heart surgery can be an overwhelming decision to make. But for certain patients, surgery can help them achieve their best heart health and return them to a full, active life.

At the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer unparalleled expertise in performing cardiac surgery. U.S. News & World Report ranks us No. 1 for heart care in Tennessee. Our skilled surgical team performs procedures safely and effectively, so you can feel confident that you are making the right decision for your heart.

Heart Surgery: Why Choose Vanderbilt

You can expect:

  • Advanced surgical care: We handle a high volume of complex surgeries, such as heart transplant and surgeries to correct congenital heart conditions. We are also the heart center of choice for more routine surgeries because we perform more of them and with greater success. Our surgical team includes experts in all types of heart surgery procedures.
  • Highly skilled doctors: You may feel anxious if yourdoctor tells you that you need heart surgery. At Vanderbilt, you can trust that you are in expert hands. We are the only academic medical center in the region, with a team of doctors who are all board certified. 
  • Recognized excellence: We are ranked No. 1 for heart care in Tennessee by U.S. News & World Report. We are a national leader in many advanced heart surgeries. Our heart transplant program is one of the top 5 in the country.
  • Collaborative approach: Our surgeons are part of a comprehensive care team. Cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, vascular medicine specialists and vascular surgeons work together to determine the best treatment for each patient.

Types of Heart Surgery

We offer the full spectrum of heart surgeries, including:

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery: Our cardiac catheterization lab is the most active in the region. We specialize in coronary bypass surgery without the use of a heart and lung machine, which decreases some risks. Learn more about coronary artery disease.
  • Valve surgery: You may need surgery to replace or repair a heart valve. Vanderbilt cardiac surgeons are able to treat even the most complex valve conditions, using either traditional (open heart) surgery or minimally invasive valve approaches. Find out more about heart valve disease.
  • Surgery for congenital heart conditions: We can correct structural heart problems (such as a hole in heart muscle wall) in both children and adults. We also have the only adult congenital heart disease program in the region.
  • Surgery for advanced heart failure: Vanderbilt leads in advanced heart surgery procedures, including ventricular assist devices (VAD) and heart transplant. We are one of the top 5 heart transplant programs in the country. Read more about advanced heart disease.
  • Surgery for aortic aneurysm and dissection repair: Our surgeons repair as many aneurysms as possible using the least invasive techniques. Sometimes, you may need an open surgery to repair your aorta. We have the expertise and experience for any type of heart surgery. Learn more about our Marfan Syndrome and Aortic Disorders Center.
  • Surgery for arrhythmia: If you have a severe irregular heart rhythm, we can perform a procedure to implant a device such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). We also perform surgical and transvenous procedures (ablations) to correct many arrhythmias.
  • Surgery for pulmonary hypertension: Vanderbilt Heart is one of only a few centers nationally offering a surgical approach to treat chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, called a pulmonary endarterectomy.

Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute Locations

Our experienced team of doctors may see patients at additional locations. To find the location closest to you, call (615) 322-2318.

Medical Center East
1215 21st Ave S., 5th Floor
Nashville, TN 37232
(615) 322-2318
Maps and Directions

Heart and Vascular Patient Stories

Ken Dannemiller and his son, Scott, share a love of family and time spent together. They also share a condition that landed them in Vanderbilt operating rooms just weeks apart. This is a story of how one life-saving surgery led to another and why it’s important to know your family health history.

Cardiac Surgery Care Team