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Cardiac Conditions

Cardiac Surgery & Treatment Options with CVTSA

Since 1977, cardiac surgeons of Cardiac Vascular and Thoracic Surgery Associates (CVTSA) have performed heart surgery on more than 30,000 adult and pediatric patients. During this time, we’ve had the opportunity to pioneer many new treatment and recovery approaches to ensure that we always provide cardiac patients with the safest, most efficient care possible. Currently, we are working to reduce the use of blood products in the cardiac operating room.

Some of our milestones include performing many “firsts” in the Washington, DC metropolitan area such as:

  • heart transplant,
  • lung transplant,
  • left ventricular assist device,
  • robotic surgery,
  • thoracic aortic graft, and
  • minimally invasive aortic valve replacement

Our goal at CVTSA is to provide you with as much information as possible about your cardiac diagnosis and treatment options. The links on the left will introduce you to our team of cardiac surgeons and nurses who will care for you. In addition, you will find information about diseases and conditions that can require surgery, the types of surgeries available and what to expect should you be scheduled for surgery.  These include:

How Does the Heart Work?

The heart is about the same size as a clenched fist. Its main function is pumping blood to all the tissues in the body. The heart muscle, called the myocardium, is the pumping force, but the heart could not function without the valves, coronary arteries and the conduction system.

Heart defects are the most common birth defect, occurring in one out of 120 live births. Ninety five percent of these people survive into adulthood, which means that today, there are approximately 1.8 million adults living with congenital heart problems. In addition, 10 percent of congenital heart defects are not discovered until the person is an adult. Today, there are more adults living with congenital heart defects than there are children.

The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body and is responsible for carrying oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the vascular system. Made up of three layers of thick muscle, the aorta withstands high pressures created every time the heart pumps blood. A tear in one of those layers is called an aortic dissection.

When dissection occurs, blood flows between the layers of the aorta, forcing the layers to separate from one another. There are several types of aortic dissections which are characterized both by their location and severity.

Aortic valve surgery is a highly specialized aspect of the cardiac surgery practice at Cardiac Vascular and Thoracic Surgery Associates.  We serve patients in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC and pride ourselves on the quality of our program and very low rates of complications.

What is the Aortic Valve?

What is the Arterial Switch Procedure for Transposition of the Great Arteries (also known as Transposition of the Great Vessels)?

Northern Virginia is home to one of the world's most respected surgeons for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.  Trained by the inventor of this cardiac surgery, Dr. Niv Ad practices at Cardiac Vascular and Thoracic Surgery Associates and offers residents of Virginia, Maryland and DC access to the most sophisticated atrial fibrillation surgical options available, including minimally invasive surgery. 

What is an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)?

What is an Atrioventricular Canal (AV canal, endocardial cushion defect) defect?

This heart problem includes an atrial septal defect (ASD) low in the atrium, a ventricular septal defect (VSD) high in the ventricle and a single large common atrioventricular valve instead of two. These problems occur when the center area of the heart does not form correctly. The severity of this heart defect varies, depending on how much of the septum of the heart is missing.

Preparing for the Procedure

What is a Bidirectional Glenn Procedure?

The bidirectional Glenn procedure is the surgery used to prepare the heart for a Fontan procedure. It is used in children with congenital heart defects in which only one of the main pumping chambers (the ventricles) can be used. The Glenn is used for many types of complex congenital heart disease, like tricuspid atresia. The procedure involves re-plumbing the heart so that the blood from the upper body flows directly into both lungs without going through a pumping heart chamber.

Abnormal cell reproduction can cause tumors to grow in the heart or the pericardium which surrounds the heart. These tumors are either benign or malignant in nature. However, the majority of cardiac tumors are benign, or non-cancerous.

Benign Tumors

Because the heart is such an essential organ, even benign tumors can be life-threatening. There are six types of benign tumors:



Vein Treatment

CVTSA's Board Certified Vascular Surgeons specialize in minimally invasive treatment of varicose veins.