Clinician-to-Clinician Update Clinician-to-Clinician Update

Heart Care Specialty Updates

November 2015

Exceptional bypass surgery survival rates reported

The 30-day mortality rate after coronary artery bypass surgery at University of Minnesota Heart Care facilities has dramatically outperformed the national average, falling to less than 0.5%. Nationally, the reported 30-day mortality rate after this procedure is approximately 2% to 4%.1 The Heart Care service line also announced that its coronary artery bypass surgery patients experience extremely low complication rates, especially regarding bleeding. The Heart Care mortality data reflect outcomes gathered over the past 3 years. Heart Care providers attribute the lowered mortality rate, in large part, to an intense focus on preoperative optimization, technique, critical care, minimization of the use of blood products, and to the use of surgical checklists, including a hemostasis checklist designed to reduce the rate of return visits to the operating room for bleeding.2

Heart transplant clinical trial to enroll patients

University of Minnesota Heart Care will soon enroll patients in a clinical trial testing a novel method of preserving and assessing donor hearts before transplantation. Called the International EXPAND Heart Pivotal Trial (EXPANDHeart), the much-publicized “heart in a box” clinical trial will test an Organ Care System developed by TransMedics, Inc. The technology is designed to maintain organs in a warm, functioning state outside of the body to optimize their health and allow for their continuous clinical evaluation. The system integrates a compact wireless monitor, a warm-blood perfusion module, and proprietary solutions for heart maintenance. The principal investigator for the trial is University of Minnesota Heart Care cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Kenneth Liao, MD.

Heart Care physician contributes to medical handbook

Gabriel Loor, MD, has authored a chapter, “Cardiopulmonary Bypass and Cardioplegia,” in the 2015 edition of the well-regarded Handbook of Cardiac Anatomy, Physiology, and Devices. The handbook covers the latest information on the anatomical features, underlying physiological mechanisms, and treatments for diseases of the heart. It features companion videos, jointly developed by the University of Minnesota and the Cardiac Rhythm Management Division at Medtronic, Inc., that illustrate functional cardiac anatomy for learners. Loor serves as a University of Minnesota Heart Care cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon.


1. Hansen LS, Hjortdal VE, Andreasen JJ, et al. 30-day mortality after coronary artery bypass grafting and valve surgery has greatly improved over the last decade, but the 1-year mortality remains constant. Ann Card Anaesth. 2015;18:138-142.

2. Loor G, Vivacqua A, Sabik JF III, et al. Process improvement in cardiac surgery: development and implementation of a reoperation for bleeding checklist. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2013;146:1028-1032.

Related Articles

November 2015

Less-Invasive Mitral Valve Surgery Matches Outcomes, Speeds Recovery

Recent advances now allow many patients with mitral valve disease to opt for minimally invasive surgery. Studies have found no differences in morbidity or long-term survival rates between these patients and those who underwent sternotomy.

Continue reading

November 2015

Minimally Invasive Approach after Prior Bypass Surgery Produces Excellent Outcome

An active, 76-year-old man with a history of prior coronary artery bypass surgery successfully underwent minimally invasive mitral valve surgery. He tolerated the procedure well and returned to work within 4 weeks and continues to do well at 1-year follow-up.

Continue reading