Facing Heart Surgery

Facing Heart Surgery

Heart Surgery Resources

Cardiac Surgery Info Center

Finding the right surgeon, hospital and treatment is a lot to process when you’re facing the possibility of heart surgery. But getting the information you need to be well-informed about your next steps is easy. From patient and surgeon videos, to helpful fact sheets and 3-D medical animations, you’ll find a great resource for heart surgery information right here.

And for something as serious as heart surgery, you want a hospital that has a wealth of experience. The heart surgeons at Swedish have performed more than 46,000 heart surgeries. Learn more about the benefits of choosing Swedish.



In the videos below, learn about the different kinds of heart surgery, what happens on the day of surgery, what to expect after surgery, and hear from a patient about their experience. Full descriptions below.

Surgery videos

For actual surgery footage (Please note: graphic content), click here

What are the different types of heart surgery?

Dr. Glenn Barnhart discusses the different types of heart surgeries performed at Swedish. Blockages of coronary arteries, leaky or tight valves, congenital heart problems, and electrical problems, such as conductivity or heart rate, are addressed by specialized teams of Swedish experts. Emerging technologies, such as minimally invasive and robotic surgery, are explored if a patient meets the proper requirements.


What to expect on the day of surgery

Dr. Glenn Barnhart discusses the patient experience on the day of heart surgery at Swedish. After an informative office visit, the patient arrives early in the morning. A cardiac anesthesiologist meets with the patient and the patient's family. The anesthesiologist keeps the family informed throughout the day, communicating progress and repairs. Patients typically rest in intensive care for a day or two immediately after surgery and then return to standard care. Patients are often discharged on the fourth post-operative day, depending on the individual surgery.


What to expect after surgery

Dr. Glenn Barnhart discusses what patients should expect after heart surgery at Swedish. Patients are usually able to walk and climb steps once they leave the hospital. In fact, normal movement is encouraged. However, heavy lifting is restricted until the patient's incision and bones have healed. The wired bones typically heal in 4-6 weeks. A Swedish staff surgeon and physician's assistant are on call 24/7 to help with any post-operative patient concerns. Swedish on-call specialists are experts in post-operative symptoms. No matter the time of day, a surgeon always calls back to discuss and assess a patient's concerns.


Bob's Story

Bob Strayhan's brief patient testimonial about minimally invasive heart surgery. Given the options of traditional heart surgery or minimally invasive surgery, Mr. Strayhan qualified for the latter. Dr. Glenn Barnhart thoroughly described the procedure and the tests that indicated the need for this type of surgery. Mr. Strayhan feels fortunate to live in the Seattle area because of the expertise of Dr. Barnhart and the Swedish team.



Contact Information

Cardiac Surgery
1600 E. Jefferson Street
Suite 110
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: 206-320-7300
Fax: 206-320-4698
Map & Directions



Network of locations

Cardiovascular services are provided at our main facility at Cherry Hill and at multiple locations in King, Snohomish, Clallam and Grays Harbor Counties.

Are you at risk for heart disease?

More people are seeking the advice of a cardiologist before something bad happens. Let us help you evaluate and minimize your risk. Hear from a cardiologist and watch videos of heart patients and their journey through treatment.  

Learn More

What to expect during your hospital stay


Take a personalized interactive tour, click here. Also see: Patient Guide for Cardiac Surgery

Watch and learn


Educational videos on our innovative cardiovascular conditions and treatment options.