Our renowned cardiothoracic surgeons are leaders in the field of open heart surgery. Because minimally invasive surgery is often not an option for repairing complex heart conditions, this “traditional” approach is the primary means of addressing certain cardiac defects ranging from tetralogy of Fallot to transposition of the great arteries, atrial septal defects and others. Likewise, repairing a heart valve or performing a heart bypass procedure typically involves open heart surgery. Open-heart surgery requires that the surgeon make a fairly large incision in the chest wall (up to 10 inches), then cut through the breastbone to expose the heart. Once the physician has done this, a heart-lung bypass machine may be employed in order to pump blood away from the heart and make it easier to operate. Patients who undergo open heart surgery usually spend at least one night in the hospital ICU where they are closely observed before moving to a regular hospital room for several days to a week of recovery. The outstanding experience and skills of our surgeons have resulted in above-average patient outcomes following this type of surgery.