Other visionary procedures offered by our practice include:
Adult and Pediatric Heart, Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation
Dr. Starnes has pioneered advances in heart, lung and heart-lung transplantation, including living lobar lung transplantation. Heart transplant candidates include those with congenital defects as well as children who develop myocardiopathy. Lung transplants are performed on patients with cystic fibrosis, primary pulmonary hypertension and rare diseases that involve congenital defects of lung function.
Ventricular Assist Devices
USC is one of the investigational sites of the most modern generation of left ventricular assist devices. The Practice uses these devices as a bridge to transplantation for patients with end-stage heart disease.
Related link: LVAD (Mechanical Circulatory Support) Program
Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques
This approach eliminates the need for a sternotomy. Some procedures are performed on the beating heart, minimizing the use of the heart-lung machine. CVTI Surgeons are among the leaders in performing minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass, minimally invasive valve procedures, port access technology for a variety of minimally invasive procedures including multi-vessel disease, and video-assisted thoracic surgery that avoids the need for an open thoracotomy.
Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgical Advances
In addition to performing pediatric heart and lung transplantation, CVTI Surgeons have pioneered pulmonary valve translocation (the Ross procedure), and the Norwood procedure, which corrects hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The Practice also specializes in congenital cardiac surgery, including the use of cyropreserved homograft tissue to repair the heart, and repair of complex congenital anomalies of the trachea that can cause narrowing.
CVTI Surgeons perform the full range of valve surgeries, including adult aortic valve disease and mitral valve repairs. Coronary bypass surgeries are also performed through a variety of approaches.
Endoscopic Vein Harvesting
Coronary bypass surgeries require the actual removal of a healthy blood vessel, typically the saphenous vein in the patient's leg, which will be used to construct the bypass. Rather than making a long incision in the patient's leg, the surgeons of USC CardioVascular Thoracic Institute now accomplish this harvesting through small incisions, using an endoscope to remove the saphenous vein. This results in less muscle and tissue damage -- leaving a scar only a few inches long above the knee.
Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization
When coronary arteries are occluded (obstructed), not enough blood reaches the heart. Yet just like other organs, the heart needs a constant supply of oxygenated blood. In transmyocardial laser revascularization, the surgeon creates new channels in the heart muscle to supplement the function of the coronary arteries. The heart then feeds itself by taking blood from within its chambers.
"Bloodless" Surgery Options
USC CardioVascular Thoracic Institute offers several "bloodless" surgical procedures to patients with religious or other beliefs who cannot accept blood products during surgery. This approach is designed to minimize the need for blood transfusions and represents a preferred approach to a growing number of patients.
Lung Cancer Treatment
In conjunction with oncologists, CVTI Surgeons provide a multimodality approach to lung cancer, combining chemotherapy with aggressive surgery for patients with advanced lung cancer.
Innovative approaches are provided for patients who suffer from tumors, strictures and stenosis of the trachea.