Heart disease affects millions of Americans. If you’re one of them, you may need cardiac surgery. Our highly skilled, expert cardiac surgeons at Baptist Health have the experience to complete the complex traditional and minimally invasive procedures that can protect and restore your heart health.

Even though we’re surgeons, we know heart surgery isn’t right for every patient. As a cardiac surgery group, we work closely with all our team of heart and vascular colleagues to make sure you receive the right treatment for your condition.

We look forward to being the partner that can deliver the comprehensive, compassionate and personalized cardiac care you deserve.

Our Approach to Cardiac Surgery

Our Approach to Cardiac Surgery

Cardiac surgery can be the answer to fix your heart problem. But, as your surgeons, we work closely with all our expert cardiology colleagues to be sure surgery is the right treatment for you. As heart care leaders, we bring the most advanced heart surgery technologies and equipment together.

Delivering the best, most convenient care is our priority.

When to Have Heart Surgery

When to Have Heart Surgery

If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, heart failure or a heart valve problem, you may need cardiac surgery — especially if medication and lifestyle changes aren’t an option or they no longer work.

Your doctor may recommend heart surgery to repair or unblock the arteries around your heart. Or they could suggest a procedure to repair or replace a damaged heart valve or major blood vessel near your heart.

Cardiac surgery can be a complex process. We’re always here to answer any questions you have. But this booklet can also give you details about:

  • Things to do to get ready for heart surgery
  • What usually happens after surgery in the hospital
  • What you can do to improve your recovery.
Heart Surgery Booklet

Heart Surgery Booklet

View our heart surgery patient guide! Inside, you’ll find essential information to help you prepare for your heart surgery and navigate the recovery process smoothly.

From pre-operative instructions to post-operative care tips, we’ve got you covered every step of the way.

Types of Cardiac Surgery

As cardiac surgeons, we try to use minimally invasive procedures whenever possible. We use smaller cuts (incisions) between your ribs with these less invasive techniques instead of a larger incision to open your chest. Minimally invasive heart surgery offers several benefits over traditional open-heart surgeries, including:

  • Faster recovery
  • Fewer activity restrictions
  • Less pain and scarring
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay

In some cases, a traditional open-heart procedure may be the better option. Your doctor can help you determine what the best treatment might be. Whether you need a minimally invasive or traditional procedure, our cardiac surgeons can perform:

Aortic Dissection Repair

In the traditional open procedure, your surgeon makes a small cut (incision) in your chest or belly and uses a manmade graft to replace the damaged parts of your aorta. In the minimally invasive procedure, your surgeon uses X-ray guidance to thread a thin tube (a catheter) to carry and place a graft.

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Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)

During this procedure, your surgeon removes part of a healthy blood vessel from your chest wall or lower leg and attaches it to your blocked heart artery, creating a path for blood to flow around your blockage.

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Left Atrial Appendage Closure

Traditionally, a left atrial appendage closure requires a 2.5-inch incision. With the ultra-minimally invasive technique, the surgeon makes two 1/5-inch openings. Using special tools, they seal off the appendage and closes it off from circulation. Blood is reabsorbed into your body instead of forming blood clots, and you no longer need blood-thinning medication.

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Endovascular Aortic Stent Graft Repair

Through a small incision in your groin, your surgeon uses X-ray guidance and specially designed tools to insert a stent or graft into your aorta. The graft material may cover the stent, and the stent helps keep the graft open and in place.

Minimally Invasive Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation (Mini-Maze)

Your surgeon makes several small cuts in the upper chambers of your heart and sews them back together. Your heart’s electrical signals can’t cross the cut areas, so your heart stops sending the abnormal signals that cause atrial fibrillation.

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Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (MICS CABG)

In addition, our surgeons perform minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting (MICS CABG). Our Chief of Cardiac Surgery Joseph Thomas McGinn, Jr., M.D., pioneered this procedure, known as the McGinn Technique.

With this procedure, Dr. McGinn and other trained Baptist Health surgeons make three small incisions instead of a single large one, and they can use video or robotic assistance to complete it. There’s no need to cut through your chest bone, so you’ll recover and get back to your daily activities in as little as a week. Plus, there’s no need for a transfusion and almost no infection risk.

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Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery

A small 5cm incision is made either on the right or upper chest with direct access to the aortic valve without having to open the chest (i.e. sternotomy). Advantages include reduced surgical trauma, less blood loss, less chance of infection, and faster recovery.

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Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Surgery

A small 5cm incision is made on the right chest with direct access to the mitral valve without having to open the chest (i.e. sternotomy). Advantages include reduced surgical trauma, less blood loss, less chance of infection, and faster recovery.

Mitral valve repair remains the gold-standard for treating patients with primary mitral regurgitation. It is important to ask your surgeon if she/he has experience with performing minimally invasive valve surgery and how many cases she/he does per year. Experience with the mitral valve is important to make sure patients get the best outcomes.

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A tiny clip is delivered through the groin to repair the malfunctioning mitral valve without having to open the chest (i.e. sternotomy).

Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR)

During TMVR, surgeons insert a thin tube, called a catheter, into one of your blood vessels. They use this tube to guide a new artificial valve into your heart. This new valve is made of metal or fabric. Once the replacement valve is in place, it takes over and functions as your new mitral valve.

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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Your surgeon threads a catheter through a small incision in your groin or chest to your aortic valve. Using special tools, they implant a collapsible replacement valve that pushes the damaged parts of your aorta out of the way.

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Patient Testimonials

“I started walking in the hospital hallways, and before I left I actually walked up a flight of stairs. Inside, I felt like I was in my teens. Dr. Gibber saved my life. He is an extraordinary man."
-Randy Okun

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“When I came out of it, I found out that one person had saved me… The end result of all of this, of course, is an enormous appreciation of life.”
-Randolph DelLago

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“You guys are very blessed at Baptist because now you are state of the art as far as heart surgery. You now have the finest facility there is, you have the best surgeons, the best nurses and the best staff.”
-Shane Foster

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Advanced Cardiac Surgery Resources

Surgery can feel overwhelming. At Baptist Health heart & Vascular Care, we offer a variety of resources to make the experience as seamless as possible.

Endovascular Surgery Center

We bring together leading-edge technology, diagnostic imaging and advanced surgical procedures in one spot. With these combined resources, we offer the most comprehensive treatment for complex aortic aneurysms, peripheral aneurysms, peripheral arterial blockages, carotid artery disease, kidney blockages, intestinal blockages, peripheral arterial disease and renal arterial disease.

Hybrid Operating Room

We offer a cutting-edge hybrid operating room, integrating advanced imaging, endovascular, and surgical techniques in a single location. Our surgeons perform procedures with high-quality angiographic imaging, eliminating the need for separate radiology visits. This streamlined approach enables quicker anesthesia administration, shorter procedure times, and reduces both recovery time and complications.

Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit

Immediately after open-heart, thoracic or vascular surgery, you will need a high level of care. We offer critical care units dedicated to our surgery patients to ensure you get the attentive care you need from our specially trained nursing staff. We also have a coronary intervention unit and a cardiac stepdown unit.

Post-Surgical Cardiac Rehabilitation

Successfully performing your surgery is only half of what we do. Our expert team also provides supervised rehabilitation services to help you recover faster so you can get back to your normal life as soon as possible.

Our Locations


8950 North Kendall Drive
Suite #600W
Miami, Florida 33176

Boca Raton

801 Meadows Road
Suite #102
Boca Raton, Florida 33486

Boynton Beach

2815 S Seacrest Blvd
3rd Floor
Boynton Beach, Florida 33435

Meet the Team

We are proud that our team of highly trained cardiac surgeons has experience across the full range of heart conditions and surgical procedures. They are dedicated to working with you to secure your best outcomes.

To schedule with our team of physicians in Miami-Dade County, call 786-596-1230

To schedule with our team of physicians in Boca Raton or Boynton Beach call 561-955-6300

Frequently Asked Questions

  • TAVR is a new transformative technology that was approved by the FDA for patients who are high risk or inoperable in 2011.

    TAVR patients have a very fast recovery and are usually in hospital for 2-3 days. The most common approach is through the artery in the groin.

    Potential complications of TAVR include stroke, the need for a permanent pacemaker, and a leaky valve. Also, since TAVR is a new technology, we don't know how long the valve will last. Therefore, patients who are low or intermediate risk do very well with minimally invasive valve surgery or traditional sternotomy.

  • With a TAVR procedure, performed collaboratively between a cardiac surgeon and an interventional cardiologist, we access the aortic valve through a catheter that is inserted in your chest or leg, which means we do not have to break the chest bone, make large incisions or put the heart on a bypass machine. This approach helps patients avoid the intensive care unit and spend less time in the hospital, with most patients going home within 48 hours of surgery. Patients also experience less pain and a lower risk of infection.

  • An aortic dissection is a serious condition in which the inner layer of the aorta, the large blood vessel branching off the heart, tears. Blood flows through the tear, causing the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate or dissect. If the blood-filled channel ruptures through the outside aortic wall, aortic dissection is often fatal. Symptoms of aortic dissection may be similar to those of other diseases, often leading to delays in diagnosis. However, when an aortic dissection is detected early and treated quickly, the chance of survival greatly improves.

  • MICS CABG stands for minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS)/coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). This is one of the newer approaches to coronary artery surgery that accesses the heart through small incisions in the chest. This technique was pioneered by our chief of cardiac surgery, Dr. Joseph McGinn and Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute is the only place in Florida that offers this approach.

    During the procedure, a healthy artery from the body is connected to a blocked artery, which allows blood to bypass the blocked artery and keep flowing.

    The MICS CABG procedure doesn’t require the surgeon to break the chest bone, and the heart can keep beating during the procedure, which helps improve recovery time, lowers risk of infection and reduces the patient’s hospital stay.

  • Minimally invasive valve surgery is performed through a small incision. The data is pretty clear regarding outcomes after minimally invasive valve surgery, including faster recovery, decreased need for blood transfusions, shorter time on the breathing machine, and shorter hospital length of stay.

    The most common reasons for not being able to do minimally invasive valve surgery include an aorta that is heavily calcified, small blood vessels in the leg (i.e. femoral artery), or previous open heart operations. That said, patients can still potentially have minimally invasive valve surgery even if they have these conditions. It's important to talk to your surgeon.

Cardiac Surgery Clinical Trials

Baptist Health Heart & Vascular Care is at the forefront of clinical research that will lead to new, more effective heart surgery procedures. If you’d like to be a partner in our robust research program or learn more about our clinical trials, view our list of ongoing studies.

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