Heart Surgery Information Center

Contact us

Cardiac Surgery

See all


Swedish Video/Audio Resources

Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute
  Dr. Glenn Barnhart introduces the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute. (1:32)
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
  Dr. Glenn Barnhart talks about minimally invasive heart surgery, which requires expertise on many different levels. There has to be good dialogue between the surgeon and cardiac anesthesiologist for things that they do. It is important to have a certified team for minimally invasive heart surgery. (2:20)
Leaders of minimally invasive heart surgery
  Dr. Glenn Barnhart talks about leaders of minimally invasive heart surgery. Swedish is 1 out of 9 teams that bring surgical teams to Swedish to learn how to do minimal invasive surgery. It is a huge advantage for patients to choose Swedish Medical Center because of their experience and resourcefulness within the surgical community around the country. Swedish also emphasizes a team approach. (1:44)
The importance of the cardiac anesthesiologist
  Dr. Glenn Barnhart talks about the importance of the cardiac anesthesiologist. Cardiac anesthesiologist is critical to understand all of the nuances to have a good grasp of how any other disease conditions a patient has could impact the operation. Anesthesiologists work to prevent or eliminate those possibilities as the case proceeds and evolves. The critical interplay between the surgeon and the anesthesiologist throughout the process is the mark of success within Swedish's program. (1:24)
Anatomy of the heart
  Dr. Glenn Barnhart talks about what the normal heart looks like. The heart is a four-chamber structure. The valves of the heart serve two very important purposes. They open so the fluid can get from one chamber to the next and they close so the fluid doesn't back up from the former chamber. Valves can be too tight or not tight enough. When they are too tight, it is called stenosis and when they are not tight enough it is called regurgitation. (1:41)
What is coronary artery disease
  In this video, Dr. Glenn Barnhart explains what coronary artery disease is. Coronary artery disease comes from blockage of cholesterol build-up and plaque build-up in the arteries, which leads the muscle to not get enough blood supply, oxygen, or nutrition. If not attended to, it can go on to cause a heart attack later on in life. (1:59)
What is the mitral valve?
  Dr. Glenn Barnhart explains what a mitral valve is. It resides between the left atrium and the right ventricle. The mitral valve can have one of two problems. It can be too tight or too leaky and this is when the blood goes backwards. During the time that the left ventricle contracts, the mitral valve is suppose to close so none of the blood in the left ventricle will go back. The problem with blood going backwards is that overtime it will affect the lung bed, lung pressure and increase shortness of breath. (2:42)
What is the aortic valve?
  Dr. Glenn Barnhart explains the aortic valve. It lives between the aortic valve and the aorta. The aortic valve is important because it opens so the blood gets from the left ventricle and out into the aorta. It then closes so the blood does not back up into the left ventricle. As we get older, the valve can be come calcified or become too loose. (3:25)
What is mitral regurgitation?
  Dr. Glenn Barnhart explains mitral regurgitation. When the blood is going backwards into the left atrium, there are no other valves between the left atrium and the pulmonary bed. The pressure that is in the left vertical essentially becomes reflected back into the pulmonary bed. If the mitral regurgitation is severe and there is much leakage, this impacts the severity of body pressures, which causes shortness of breath. (0:55)
What are the symptoms of mitral regurgitation?
  Dr. Glenn Barnhart explains the symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation such as becoming short of breath. There are five structures of the mitral valve: annulus, leaflet tissue, chordae tendineae, papillary muscles, and left ventricle. All of these are taken into consideration when the mitral valve is leaking and not working right. There are four degrees of mitral valve regurgitation: mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe. (1:39)
Repairing vs. replacing the mitral valve
  Dr. Glenn Barnhart explains repairing vs. replacing the mitral valve. The goal is always to repair the patient. Long time prognosis shows that repairing the mitral valve is much better for the patient. In most cases, if it is pure mitral regurgitation, surgeons are able to repair the mitral valve. In circumstances where the valve cannot be repaired, it is replaced. There are to options to replace the valve; there is a mechanical option and a tissue option. (0:56)
Valve options: tissues vs. mechanical
  Dr. Glenn Barnhart explains both valve replacements. There are tissue valves and mechanical valves. The good thing about tissue valves is that they do not require long-term anti-coagulation. The downside about tissue valves is that they can fail and will fail especially if implanted in a younger patient. Mechanical valves last forever. However, the patient has to be anti-coagulated for life. (2:02)
What is anti-coagulation?
  Dr. Glenn Barnhartexplains what anti-coagulation is, which means that the patient has to be on a blood thinner. Anti-coagulation is controlled by checking the blood for the right amount of thinness. The purpose is so clots will not get on the mechanical valve. Having clots on the mechanical valve can cause it to break, go to the brain and cause a stroke or cause intrinsic dysfunction. (0:46)
What is aortic regurgitation?
  Dr. Glenn Barnhartexplains that aortic regurgitation is a problem the aortic valve can develop. A patient with aortic regurgitation can be difficult to evaluate because the patient can be symptomatic for a long period of time. The concern is that the left ventricle develops an overload from all of the blood rushing back into the ventricle, which causes it to become dilated. Anytime a patient develops a decrease in the function of their heart, doctors are quick to recommend an aortic valve replacement. (1:22)
What are symptoms of aortic valve stenosis?
  In this video, Dr. Glenn Barnhart defines the symptoms of aortic valve stenosis. The symptoms of aortic valve stenosis are shortness of breath, chest pains, and lightheadedness. If a patient develops aortic stenosis, their valves may become calcified, rigid, and hard. Some patients are born with only two leaflets, called a bicuspid aortic valve, which is a congenital lesion. Typically these valves work fairly well to normal, but due to the abnormality of the valve, later in life the valve becomes rigid and calcified. Patients who develop aortic regurgitation have a whole host of things that could be causing the aortic regurgitation, which includes a connective tissue disorder or a malformed valve. (1:28)
Repairing vs. replacing the aortic valve
  In this video, Dr. Glenn Barnhart talks about repairing versus replacing the aortic valve. When looking at patients who need to have something done about the aortic valve, most of the treatment options usually circle around aortic valve replacement. There are some situations where the whole aorta and valve have to be replaced; this is referred to as Aortic Root Replacement. (0:33)
What to expect after minimally invasive surgery
  Dr. Glenn Barnharttalks about what to expect after minimally invasive surgery. Within two to three days, the patient can go home. The recovery is rapid. The typical time period to get back to normal activities is two to three weeks. (1:18)