Cardiovascular surgery in Portsmouth

When your heart needs surgery, trust it to the experts at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. As the only cardiac surgery program on the Seacoast and a nationally recognized record of superior results for our patients, other hospitals refer their patients to our Heart & Vascular Institute.

Our exceptional results are made possible by:

  • Highly skilled heart surgeons who perform thousands of cardiac procedures and serve as consultants to other hospitals in the area
  • The investment in advanced and minimally invasive technology made by our Heart & Vascular Institute
  • Our collaborative heart care team that involves you and your family in discussions and decision-making
  • Our hybrid operating room, an innovation that lets us switch seamlessly from minimally invasive procedures to traditional open surgery, should it be required
To learn more about our services or to make an appointment with one of our cardiovascular specialists, please call (888) 421-1080.

Advanced heart surgery procedures

Our experience and expertise enables us to perform many cardiovascular surgical procedures, including:

  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Heart valve replacement and repair
  • Cardiac-assist device implantation

If you need a heart transplant, we collaborate closely with hospitals offering heart transplant services.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

We are proud to offer the TAVR procedure, an approved method in the U.S. for patients with inoperable aortic stenosis. Aortic stenosis is a form of valve disease that involves narrowing of the aortic valve opening. TAVR is performed by delivering an artificial valve through the femoral artery to the heart, where it is deployed over the damaged valve.

For questions about TAVR or to refer a patient to one of our valve specialists, please call our valve clinic coordinator at (603) 433-4866.

Minimally invasive heart care

Procedures that are less invasive than traditional open surgery are considered minimally invasive. Incisions are significantly smaller, sometimes only one-tenth the size of those used in typical open surgery.

Miniature devices or tools—such as catheters, laparoscopes or endoscopes—are inserted through tiny incisions to carry out procedures. You benefit from less pain and scarring, a reduced risk of infection and a quicker return to your regular activities.

Many of our less invasive treatments take place in our specially equipped hybrid operating room and can include:

  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and interventional cardiology—This procedure quickly opens narrowed or blocked arteries using angioplasty, atherectomy and stents. This is done on emergency basis to stop or prevent heart attack or as needed to treat various cardiovascular conditions.
  • Cardiac catheterizationTo assess heart conditions and blood supply, a technician uses X-rays to guide small tubes through the blood vessels.
  • Electrophysiology (EP)—The EP team works together to evaluate the heart’s electrical system and diagnose abnormal heart rhythms. Our board-certified electrophysiologist treats abnormal rhythms using a variety of techniques, including pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and ablations.
  • Minimally invasive valve surgery—This technique, often preferred by women who need mitral valve surgery, involves a small incision in the side rather than a larger one in the chest.

Valve Clinic

Portsmouth's Valve Clinic offers a multidisciplinary team approach to caring for and treating high-risk heart patients with valve disorders.

The Valve Clinic team consists of structural heart specialists, interventional cardiologists, cardiovascular imaging specialists and cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons. They consult together, combining vast experience and knowledge to develop personalized patient treatment plans.

Our team offers several treatment options for our non-operative candidates with critical aortic stenosis, including medical therapy, balloon valvuloplasty and the TAVR procedure.

Heart valve problems that benefit from surgery include congenital (present at birth) valve disorders, leaky valves that don't close properly (regurgitation), infected valves and narrowed valves that don't open correctly (stenosis).

Take our free heart risk assessment.

Heart valve procedures

Our cardiac surgeons regularly take on challenging cases, such as those that involve the repair or replacement of multiple valves or operations to correct unsuccessful valve surgeries. Many of our patients are considered high risk, which could mean the patient has had several prior heart surgeries, has pre-existing conditions, is overweight or is of advanced age.

While we routinely care for high-risk patients, our team welcomes any patient with a heart valve problem that can benefit from surgery. We can perform the following procedures:

  • Mitral valve repair and aortic valve repair
  • Stentless valves
  • Minimally invasive valve surgery
  • Mitral chordal repair
  • Repair of congenital valve disorders
  • Mechanical heart valve replacement
  • Tissue heart valve replacement

Varicose vein care

If you experience discomfort or swelling in your legs from varicose veins, you may have superficial venous reflux disease, a common condition affecting millions of Americans.

Portsmouth Regional Hospital offers endovenous laser treatment, which uses laser therapy to close off large varicose veins. Laser treatment is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical option to vein stripping surgery. Compared to the traditional vein stripping procedure, laser closure treatment offers the following benefits:

  • Local anesthetic or light sedation instead of general anesthesia
  • No incisions
  • Less pain and discomfort
  • Faster return to regular activities

Speak with your doctor to decide if endovenous laser therapy is right for you. Before scheduling laser therapy, check with your insurance company about coverage.

Signs and symptoms of varicose veins

In some cases, the only symptom of varicose and spider veins is the appearance of the veins under the skin. However, these veins may become painful overtime. Legs with varicose veins may feel worse with prolonged sitting or standing. Common symptoms of varicose veins include:

  • Aching pain
  • Burning
  • Legs that tire easily
  • Leg heaviness
  • Rash on the legs
  • Itching
  • Leg swelling
  • Numbness in the legs
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Skin ulcers