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Cardiac Surgery

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Overview

A leader in innovative techniques

Tufts Medical Center’s cardiac surgeons are leaders in the field of minimally invasive heart surgery. While standard open-heart surgery often requires cracking the breastbone (sternotomy) and exposing the heart, minimally invasive approaches give our surgeons access through small incisions. By using this technique, the surgeons are able to operate between the ribs and avoid sternotomy.

Other benefits of minimally invasive surgery over traditional open-heart surgery include:

  • Lower risk of infection
  • Lower risk of bleeding
  • Reduced time in the ICU and shortened hospital stay
  • Quicker return to activity
  • Better cosmetic results
  • Improved quality of life

Heart valve surgery 

Heart valves open and close to direct the flow of blood in one direction through the chambers of the heart. When these valves can’t open or close completely, it can lead to valve disease including valvular stenosis (trouble closing completely, which causes the heart to have to work harder to pump blood through the valve) or regurgitation (the valve does not close all the way, allowing blood to leak backward in the wrong direction).

Our cardiac surgeons are part of the Valvular and Strutural Heart Health Center at Tufts Medical Center, which is dedicated to diagnosing and treating valvular diseases using a range of techniques including valve repair and replacement. In particular, our heart surgeons specialize in:

  • Trans-catheter aortic valve replacement: We are currently using both transfemoral and transapical approaches to insert an artificial valve in the aortic position.
  • Mini-thoracotomy: This approach involves a 2-inch incision between the ribs to provide access to the valve without opening the chest. 
  • Hemi-sternotomy: A partial incision of the breast bone which allows access to the aortic valve without having to open the chest. 

Learn more about the Valvular and Structural Heart Health Center >

Arrhythmia Surgery 

As part of the New England Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Tufts Medical Center, our cardiac surgeons treat the range of abnormal heart rhythms. Along with the use of antiarrhythmic drugs, ICDs, pacemakers and ablation techniques, our surgeons offer the Maze procedure. During this procedure, the surgeon makes a series of incisions in the upper half of the heart. When the incisions heal, they form scars that help guide the electrical impulses of the heart.

Learn more about the New England Cardiac Arrhythmia Center >

Doctors + Care Team

Frederick  Y. Chen, MD, PhD

Frederick Y. Chen, MD, PhD

Title(s): Chief, Cardiac Surgery; Visiting Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, CardioVascular Center, Cardiac Surgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5590
Fax #: 617-636-6410

Surgical treatment of acquired heart disease, surgical repair of valvular heart disease, minimally invasive surgery, arrhythmia surgery, heart transplantation, circulatory assist devices

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Dennis Mello, MD

Dennis Mello, MD

Title(s): Director, Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiac Surgery; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, CardioVascular Center, Cardiac Surgery, Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5590
Fax #: 617-636-6410

Single ventricle surgery, low birth weight neonatal cardiac surgery, transposition surgery

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Hassan Rastegar, MD

Hassan Rastegar, MD

Title(s): Senior Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, CardioVascular Center, Cardiac Surgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5590
Fax #: 617-636-6410

Surgical treatment of acquired heart disease, surgical repair of valvular heart disease, surgical repair of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, minimally invasive surgery, arrhythmia surgery, heart transplantation, circulatory assist devices

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Kenneth G. Warner, MD

Kenneth G. Warner, MD

Title(s): Senior Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, CardioVascular Center, Cardiac Surgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5590
Fax #: 617-636-6410

Surgical management of adult and pediatric heart disease, heart transplantation

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617-636-0033