Trumbull Regional Medical Center – Cardiac Surgery Chat

Trumbull Regional Medical Center

Jeff Kelly sits down with cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Brian Priest

Trumbull Regional Medical Center offers the full continuum of cardiac care, including open-heart surgery. Open heart-surgery is when the chest is opened, and surgery is performed on the muscles, valves or arteries of the heart. The most common type of open-heart surgery is Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG).

During a CABG procedure, a healthy artery or vein is attached to a blocked coronary artery. This allows the new artery or vein to “bypass” the blockage and deliver blood to the heart.

Open heart surgery may become necessary for people with coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is when the blood vessels to the heart muscle become narrow and hardened due to the buildup of cholesterol and other material, called plaque, on their inner walls. This makes it difficult for blood to flow properly to the heart, which may lead to a heart attack.

The heart has three coronary arteries, the most important artery is the left anterior descending artery (LAD). This artery supplies blood to the front wall of the heart, which makes up for much more muscle than the area fed by the other two arteries. A narrowing or blockage in the LAD is more serious than a narrowing or blockage in the other arteries, bypass surgery usually is the best option for this.

It’s also recommended that patients with multiple narrowed arteries or those patients who have blockages in all three coronary arteries have bypass surgery.

Open heart surgery is also done to:

  • repair or replace heart valves
  • repair damaged or abnormal areas of the heart
  • repair aneurysms
  • implant medical devices that help the heart beat properly
  • heart transplants

After a patient has undergone open heart surgery the length of stay at the hospital is usually about 5-7 days. After discharge the patient is given specific instructions to follow when they get home and while they heal for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks and the follow-up appointments, the patient will be referred to Cardiac Rehabilitation. Cardiac Rehabilitation is a program designed to help people with cardiovascular problems recover fast and improve their quality of life. The program includes exercise, education, counseling and support for patients and their families. The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Trumbull Regional is the only certified program in the Mahoning Valley.

For more information on cardiac services at Trumbull Regional Medical Center, visit

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