Experts in complex heart surgery

The Cardiovascular Surgery team at Mayo Clinic provides high-quality care for complex or serious conditions that affect people of all ages. Our heart (cardiac) and chest (thoracic) surgeons diagnose and surgically treat conditions of the heart, lungs and chest. They perform thousands of surgeries each year at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Mayo Clinic surgeons are on the leading edge of treating cardiovascular and cardiothoracic conditions, using the latest innovations, such as minimally invasive heart surgery with robot-assisted techniques. Minimally invasive robotic surgery is used to repair or replace heart valves, remove growths in the heart and for other procedures. This approach has helped many people recover more quickly than is possible with traditional surgery. Our team is widely recognized for its performance of complex procedures with safe and excellent outcomes.

A team focused on you

A surgical team performs a procedure in an operating room.

Cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgeons at Mayo Clinic are part of a multidisciplinary team that provides expert care tailored to your needs. Your team might include specialists in cardiovascular medicine, critical care medicine, anesthesiology, gastroenterology and hepatology, general surgery, hematology, oncology, otolaryngology, pulmonary medicine, vascular medicine, endovascular surgery, pathology, radiology, pediatrics, or physical therapy. Your team also might include registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dietitians and geneticists.

Our team approach means test results are available as quickly as possible, appointments are scheduled in coordination, and experts discuss the best approach for each person. What might take months elsewhere often can be done in days at Mayo Clinic.

Experience in advanced treatments and innovations

Our surgeons perform more than 4,500 heart surgeries each year. They are experts in treating serious conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and disease of the pericardium and in performing complex procedures. These include heart failure surgery, heart transplantation, heart valve surgery, aortic valve repair and aortic valve replacement, coronary artery bypass surgery, surgery to treat congenital heart defects in children and congenital heart disease in adults, surgery to treat pulmonary hypertension, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, and placement of ventricular assist devices.

Our surgeons also are experts in helping people who need a second heart operation. This is called a cardiac reoperation. It's sometimes needed when a replacement valve begins to wear out or you develop new heart disease. Cardiac reoperations are even more complex than first surgeries, due to scar tissue and underlying conditions. People who come back for a second or even a third heart surgery need surgeons with highly advanced surgical skills and techniques.

Pediatric cardiac surgery is provided to children at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Cardiovascular surgeons trained in treating children work closely with doctors trained in treating child and adolescent cardiovascular conditions (pediatric cardiologists) as well as other pediatric specialists to provide comprehensive care.

Mayo Clinic Health System clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are in 39 communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Cardiovascular surgeons also perform surgery at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Research to improve surgical care

Our cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgeons are leaders in researching and adopting new approaches and techniques. Projects have included:

  • Researching new techniques to determine the timing and outcomes of mitral and tricuspid valve surgery.
  • Researching a new strategy for treating hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) called ex utero intrapartum treatment. This sometimes allows them to treat HLHS without open-heart surgery.
  • Using artificial intelligence to predict outcome after surgery and to detect adverse outcomes early.
  • Using virtual reality to ease anxiety of the patient during surgery.

Our surgeons also participate in innovative studies to improve donor hearts and lungs before they are transplanted. The technique is called ex vivo perfusion, in which machines supply donor organs with blood and oxygen outside of the body. This allows more people to benefit from heart and lung transplantation. Our surgeons also combine heart and lung transplantations with surgeries for other organs, such as the liver and kidneys.

Our physician-scientists collaborate with researchers worldwide, contributing to advances in cardiovascular surgery that improve heart care for people everywhere.

Cardiovascular surgery appointment process in Rochester, Minnesota

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Cardiovascular surgery appointment process, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN

Phase One: Initial contact

Melissa K. Erdman, P.A.-C, Cardiovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic: Once you or your provider contact Mayo Clinic, a patient appointment service specialist will work with you to schedule a phone call or video visit with an advanced practice provider within two business days from the initial request. This initial call or visit will often last about an hour, during which we will ask about recent testing that has been completed locally and walk you through some steps to have these records and test results sent to Mayo for review by our surgeons. We'll also discuss the patient history including medical, surgical, family and social information, along with any medications, allergies, and current symptoms. This information will allow the cardiac surgery team at Mayo to clearly understand the patient concerns. By reviewing all the gathered medical information in advance, our surgeons are able to more efficiently provide the surgical recommendation. It is vital that our surgeons are able to view the actual test images from local care providers in order to provide the best personalized medical or surgical option for the patient. If the images are not available following the phone or video visit within ten business days, the surgeon will move forward with the review, though it may be difficult to determine the specific surgery needed without the existing record and images. In this case, additional or repeat testing may be necessary to best meet the patient's needs. If that does happen, the situation will be discussed with you prior to scheduling an appointment.

Phase Two: Surgical consult

Upon completion of the surgical review process, a phone call or video visit will be arranged between the patient and/or caregivers and the surgeon to discuss the recommendations for surgery.

Phase Three: Scheduling onsite care

After that discussion, we'll schedule an appointment for the onsite preoperative visit and reserve a surgical date. Often, conducting the medical record review and evaluation before an onsite appointment limits the patient travel, so that only one trip to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota is necessary. That said, if the surgeon feels additional testing is necessary to determine the course of treatment, it may require a longer stay in Rochester or a preliminary visit prior to scheduling the surgical case.

At Mayo, by putting the patient at the center of everything we do, we continually strive to provide each patient with the precise care that they need. And we are happy to discuss additional questions at anytime. Just contact us at the telephone number on this page.

Cardiovascular Surgery Appointment Office
Rochester, MN

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  • Mayo Clinic Cardiac Surgery
  • 13400 E. Shea Blvd.
    Scottsdale, AZ 85259
  • Phone: 480-301-8484


  • Mayo Clinic Cardiac Surgery
  • 4500 San Pablo Road
    Jacksonville, FL 32224
  • Phone: 904-953-0773


  • Mayo Clinic Cardiac Surgery
  • 200 First St. SW
    Rochester, MN 55905
  • Phone: 507-255-2000
  • Mayo Clinic Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
  • 200 First St. SW
    Rochester, MN 55905
  • Phone: 507-255-2000
June 19, 2024