Cardiovascular surgery is the specialty responsible for operating on the heart and blood vessels to repair the damage that different diseases or disorders of the cardiovascular system have caused.
The diagnosis of cardiovascular disease is usually made in primary care. When the doctor detects a cardiac problem, the patient is referred to the specialist, who will determine if they need a surgical intervention.
– Valvular repair surgery in aortic insufficiency, mitral and tricuspid insufficiency.
– Implantation of transcatheter aortic valves (TAVI) and rapid deployment (sutureless).
– Implantation of valves through mini access: mini-sternotomy, mini-thoracotomy.
– Coronary surgery without extracorporeal circulation and with arterial grafts.
– Aneurysms of ascending aorta and arch: hybrid surgery.
– Aortic dissections.
– Implantation of pacemakers, resynchronizers and defibrillators.
– Reconstruction of left ventricle, after ventricular aneurysm.
– Surgery of adult congenital heart disease.
– Surgical ablation of pulmonary veins as a treatment for atrial fibrillation.
All surgeries use Ultra fast track techniques (extubation in the operating room and with short stay in ICU and hospital).
The valves are responsible for boosting the blood in one direction and then closing the ‘doors’ to prevent the backward movement of it. However, valves can suffer from these two frequent problems: stenosis and regurgitation.
Stenosis occurs when the valves do not open enough and only a small amount of blood passes through the valve.
On the other hand, regurgitation is when the valve does not close well and causes part of the blood to back up instead of moving forward.
In both cases it will be necessary to rebuild the valve or replace it with a mechanical or biological prosthesis, this last one made with animal tissue (pericardium).
The coronary bypass is one of the most common interventions, in fact, it is estimated that about500,000 are performed each year.
This intervention consists of using a healthy extracardiac artery to create what we can call a “shortcut” in the diseased or obstructed artery. This creates a new path through which blood can pass and the heart muscle receives blood with the nutrients and oxygen needed to function.
One of the characteristics of this intervention is that it is not necessary to open the cavities of the heart, or to stop the heart or to use extracorporeal circulation.
Dr. Rafael Llorens is a doctor and cardiovascular surgeon, who has over 25 years of professional experience. In 1974 he graduated in Medicine at the University of Navarra. Before finishing the degree, he obtained a place of internal student (through public exams) in the Department of Pathology and Clinical Medicina of the Faculty of Medicina of the University of Navarra.
Professionally, Dr. Llorens has spent almost ten years as a registered specialist in the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Service of the University Hospital of Navarra, where he continues as a consultant and director. Since 1996 he has been the director of the Cardiac Surgery of the Hospital Rambla in Tenerife.