Surgical Care for Heart Failure

Ron Lekavich A ventricular assist device helped Ron Lekavich return to teaching music after suffering from heart failure. »Learn More

University of Chicago heart surgeons are recognized leaders in the surgical treatment of heart failure. Here, our surgeons have pioneered many procedures for heart failure, and are developing innovative devices and new surgical techniques to treat the condition.

Because each case is different, our surgeons carefully select the best approach to treat the underlying problems that cause heart failure. Heart failure patients may need surgery to replace faulty heart valves, bypass narrowed arteries, or implant sophisticated devices to boost circulation. Some of the heart failure surgery procedures available at the University of Chicago hospital include:

  • Robotic, minimally invasive, beating heart and standard open heart coronary artery bypass surgery to improve blood flow to the heart
  • Complex valve repair and replacement, using human tissue or artificial heart valves
  • Atrial fibrillation surgery that uses radiofrequency energy to destroy tissue that causes atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm sometimes found in people with heart failure
  • Ventricular reconstruction, during which a surgeon reshapes an enlarged heart and repairs malfunctioning valves
  • Pacemaker and defibrillator implantation to regulate heartbeat
  • Biventricular pacing, a special type of pacemaker used for heart failure that helps both ventricles of the heart to pump together
  • Ventricular assist devices (VADs), mechanical devices that are implanted to increase the pumping action of the heart. Our surgeons are also testing a new type of heart assist device called the CardioVad.
  • Heart transplantation, including retransplantation and multiple organ transplantation
Second opinion for heart surgery