General Thoracic Diseases

General Thoracic Diseases General thoracic diseases are those that affect the lungs, esophagus, or chest. Specialists in thoracic disease treat these diseases. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons defines the list of diseases and regulates surgeons that specialize in this area of medicine. If you or a loved one is suffering from one of these diseases, a specialist may be able to provide life-saving care. Thoracic Diseases Thoracic diseases are those centered in the upper chest. These include lung and esophageal cancers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barretts Esophagus, tumors in the chest wall or mediastinal tumors that occur in the chest cavity. Also included are achalasia and esophageal motility disorders, which affect the muscles of the esophagus and make it difficult to swallow, and pleural disease.   General Thoracic Disease These diseases have one thing in common- they all affect the chest, esophageal, and heart and lungs. A diagnosis that affects such critical structures of the body can be terrifying. Fortunately, a qualified surgeon can help you understand what you’re facing as well as the various treatment options. Don’t let thoracic disease steal your peace of mind or reduce your quality of life. Thoracic Disease Treatment Dr. Ciuffo is dedicated to helping you understand your thoracic disease and to choose the treatment that’s best for you or your loved one. Minimally invasive, bloodless heart surgery may provide you with a solution even if your condition has been deemed inoperable by other surgeons. Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion on your thoracic disease treatment. Dr. Ciuffo’s techniques have helped many patients live a full life. Call for a consultation...

Inoperable Diagnosis? Get a Second Opinion

Inoperable Diagnosis? Get a Second Opinion Many patients come to us for a second opinion after receiving an inoperable diagnosis. Inoperable heart surgery may be made possible by new and advanced techniques. Don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion. Dr. Ciuffo may be able to help when other doctors have decided the risks are too high. Inoperable Heart Surgery Many patients are diagnosed as high risk because of factors like age, frailty, or other diseases. Some patients with factors prohibiting heart surgery can receive successful life-saving procedures with minimally invasive techniques. High-risk patients should seek a second opinion on their inoperable heart surgery diagnosis. It’s impossible to say whether minimally invasive surgery is an option for you without a full examination and diagnosis, but the chances are good that minimally invasive techniques can help you or a loved one.   Inoperable Diagnosis An inoperable diagnosis is often based on the doctor’s opinion of the patient’s ability to handle the shock of traditional heart surgery. Traditional surgery often results in broken ribs and massive incisions that take weeks or months to completely heal. With the shock of the invasion of the body, combined with the risks of infection, traditional heart surgery is extremely difficult for even healthy patients. If age, other diseases, or frailty are factored in, it may seem like an inoperable diagnosis is sound. However, with minimally invasive techniques, the risks are significantly reduced. Second Opinion Don’t be afraid to question the doctor who has given you a diagnosis. Ask why the cardiologist believes the diagnosis is “inoperable,” and have them write down their answers. Ask what the...

Options for Jehovah’s Witnesses

Bloodless Options for Jehovah’s Witnesses Bloodless options make Jehovah’s Witness heart surgery possible. Dr. Ciuffo’s minimally invasive techniques aren’t just safer, they respect your religious views. Heart issues requiring surgery can sound like a death sentence to a Jehovah’s Witness. Fortunately, bloodless options are available that do not require you to accept blood transfusions. Not only are these options beneficial to the immune system, they adhere to the beliefs held by many faithful people from around the world.  Religious Views Jehovah’s Witnesses and others do not believe in accepting blood transfusions during surgery. This can pose a real problem for a surgeon, but Dr. Ciuffo has found ways to mitigate the need for additional blood during surgery. Blood transfusions can cause a shock to the already weakened system. Avoiding transfusions is beneficial to the immune system as well as respectful of religious views. Bloodless Options There are several bloodless options for heart surgery. Some of the techniques Dr. Ciuffo uses include: Extra corporeal circulation– a technique which keeps the blood in circulation at all times. Beating heart surgery – this technique helps stop bleeding after surgery. Blood salvage– By collecting, filtering, and reusing the patient’s own blood, the need for a transfusion is eliminated. Cell saving, recycling and rinsing – contributes to saving the patient’s blood Synthetic topical hemostatic products– are not derived from blood and help control bleeding during surgery Hypervolemic hemodilution– dilutes the blood supply during surgery Hypotensive anesthesia– reduces bleeding during surgery Intra-operative electro-cautery– minimizes blood loss during the surgery itself. Jehovah’s Witnesses Heart Surgery For Jehovah’s Witnesses heart surgery can present some unique challenges. Dr....

Advantage of Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Advantage of Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery New technologies are emerging all the time. As open heart surgery treatments advance, there are new options and choices facing patients. As you move toward open heart surgery as a treatment, consider all your options and weight the benefits and risks with your medical team to decide what the best course of action is for you. Open Heart Surgery It used to be that open heart surgery was a last-resort risk. The recovery time was slow and the procedure often left behind large scars which took a long time to heal. Traditional open heart surgery involved breaking through the ribcage, usually through the sternum itself, to reach the heart. This left the patient with a long, hard and often painful recovery. New techniques and technologies allow for a much less invasive option for most patients. Sternotomy Traditionally, open heart surgery, or sternotomy, meant entering the chest through a large incision, breaking the sternum to reach the heart, and performing the surgery. The potential problems included inflammation, swelling, pain, a longer recovery time, and infection. The s hock to the heart and the blood loss made it more difficult for patients to recover fully and heal efficiently. Fortunately, minimally invasive heart surgery options are now available. Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery With minimally invasive heart surgery, there is a much smaller incision, which can often be hidden beneath the fold of a breast. Since the incision is made between the rib bones rather than entering through the sternum, recovery time is much shorter and less painful. The risk of infection is also greatly lowered. The...

Inoperable Heart Disease – Tips to Find a Solution

Inoperable Heart Disease-  Tips For Finding Solutions A diagnosis of inoperable heart disease can be discouraging. A heart condition may be difficult to live with. Minimally invasive bloodless heart surgery may offer options that may not be possible with traditional methods. The treatment options available are dependent upon a number of conditions, including both your own physical health and the scope of experience of the doctors dealing with your case. Inoperable Heart Disease Each patient’s case is decided individually. There are steps you’ll need to take when facing a diagnosis of inoperable heart disease. It’s important not to panic or lose hope. Even if your case isn’t a good candidate for surgical options, there are many treatments available that can extend and improve the quality of your life.  Ask questions. Request that the medical doctor in charge of your case and your surgeon explain exactly why your case is considered “inoperable.” Be sure to write down the details of their answers.  Obtain copies of all of your diagnostic records, including imaging- CAT scans, catheterizations, echocardiograms, EKG and other reports.  Gather copies of all the reports pertinent to your case, including blood test and other results. Heart Disease Heart disease is not a completely-understood condition. There are many aspects that doctors have to make their best educated and trained guesses about the potential outcomes of treatment options. While you’re gathering your records, reach out for a second opinion.  Seek a second opinion. Gather your information and bring it to the new doctor, so that they may evaluate your case fully and to avoid repeating expensive testing.  Ask your doctor to...

What is LIMA LAD?

What is LIMA to LAD? LIMA LAD is a life-saving coronary artery bypass procedure that involves the left internal mammary artery and the left anterior descending artery. It opens the heart’s blood flow, saving the life of the patient. Left Internal Mammary Artery The left internal mammary artery, or LIMA, is located on the left side of the heart. Often, fatty deposits and other blockages settle in the vessels around the heart due to heart disease. This blockage puts a strain on the heart and prevents it from pumping efficiently. Minimally invasive bloodless  heart surgery that creates a new route for the blood flow can be a lifesaving procedure. A thin catheter with a balloon tip is inserted into the area of blockage. The balloon is inflated to gently stretch the vessel and release the blockage. Left Anterior Descending The left anterior descending artery, also known as the LAD, is the most important blood vessel in the heart, traveling between the left and right ventricles at the front of the heart. It carries life-giving blood around the heart. Without the ability to freely flow through this critical pathway, blood cannot make its way around the body to carry oxygen and nutrients. LIMA LAD Dr. Ciuffo offers a minimally invasive version o the  LIMA to LAD procedure that results in a small scar easily hidden under the fold of the breast. If you or a loved one is interested in minimally invasive heart surgery and may be a candidate for LIMA to LAD surgery, contact our office for your...