What Services Do We Provide?
Thoracic surgery focuses on treatment for diseases of the chest (thorax), including coronary artery disease and heart valve and vessel abnormalities. Cardiac and thoracic surgery specialists diagnose and treat a variety of conditions. Common procedures include:
Contact the Mercy Heart and Vascular Institute: 641.494.5300
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
Coronary artery bypass surgery is performed on over a half-million Americans each year to circumvent atherosclerotic (fat- and cholesterol-clogged) arteries that are failing to supply the heart with sufficient oxygen and nutrients. When blocked arteries reduce or cut off blood supply to the heart, a condition known as ischemic heart disease, or coronary artery disease (CAD), develops and can result in chest pain or a heart attack. Bypass surgery creates a new route around the blocked vessel or vessels to maintain the proper flow of blood and prevent these problems.
Risks and complications of bypass surgery include reactions to anesthesia, post-pericardiotomy syndrome involving treatable fever and chest pain (30% of surgeries), heart attack (5%), stroke (5%), blood clots, infection (1%-4%) and death (1%-2%). Normal postsurgical discomfort may take the form of itching, soreness, numbness, bruising, swelling, memory loss and bleeding.
Heart Valve Replacement and Repair
Close to 1 million heart valve operations are performed in the United States each year, and nearly all of these operations are done to repair or replace heart valves. The success rate of heart valve replacement/repair is very high, and advances in surgical treatment of diseased heart valves can pinpoint with great accuracy the location, type and extent of valve disease.
What is heart valve replacement/repair?
Valve repair can be done by using a ring to support a person’s diseased valve, using tissue patches to cover holes or tears in the valve or removing calcium buildup from the valve. An artificial valve may be mechanical or biological. Sometimes a patient’s own tissue can be used for heart valve replacement.
The average time required for heart valve surgery is four hours. Your heart valve surgery will be performed by a specialized team. In traditional heart valve replacement/repair surgery, the patient’s vital functions will be fully supported by a cardiopulmonary bypass pump (or a “heart-lung machine”), which takes over the function of the heart and lungs, blood circulation and oxygen content of the body.
You can expect to stay in the hospital for about a week, including at least one to three days in the intensive care unit (lCU) to monitor your heart, blood pressure, respiration and other bodily functions. Necessary medication will be prescribed by your physician and postoperative care, including incision care, nutrition, exercise and diet, will be discussed at length. It is important that patients take an active role in educating themselves about the limitations, if any, that heart valve replacement/repair will place on their unique lives.
Mitral Valve Surgery
Mitral valve surgery is an open-heart procedure used to correct defects of the mitral valve, the opening between the upper and lower left chambers of the heart that lets blood flow through and keeps it from leaking back into the lungs. The valve opens and closes with the help of two flaps, or leaflets.
Mitral valve surgery aims to either repair or replace the damaged valve, depending on the severity of the condition. Repair is preferred over replacement because it offers longer-lasting results and lower risk of complications, maintains a higher level of functioning and eliminates the need for lifelong blood-thinning medication. Both surgeries are open-heart procedures that require a large incision in the chest to reach the heart. Minimally invasive techniques are available but not recommended for all patients. These procedures require a hospital stay and a full recovery time of several weeks.
Board-certified in both general surgery and thoracic/cardiovascular surgery, our specialist has over 25 years of experience and extensive medical training, providing patients at Mason City Clinic with state-of-the-art care for their comprehensive surgical needs. He completed a fellowship in cardiac surgery at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Foundation and has held several leadership positions within MCC’s Mercy Heart Center and in the Iowa Society of Thoracic Surgeons. He delivers compassionate, patient-centered care and convenience right here in Mason City.
To learn more about our cardiac and thoracic services, please call 641.494.5300 today or use our online form to schedule an appointment. Our cardiac and thoracic surgery patients come to us from Albert Lea, Algona, Charles City, Iowa Falls, Mason City, New Hampton and nearby areas.
I used to visit the ER often with undiagnosed heart problems. During my last visit in 2004, they told me I probably wouldn’t make it another year. That’s when my doctor at Mason City Clinic found my mitral valve malfunction and surgically repaired it. I recently had my annual EKG exam and my cardiologist found no heart problems whatsoever. Which means I can keep raising my squash, musk melon and tomatoes...Read More
With no warning signs, Jansen Wyatt, 54, suddenly collapsed in his home last November. His daughter-in-law rushed him to the ER at Palo Alto County Health System in Emmetsburg, where they diagnosed a severe heart attack. Jansen was helicoptered to Mason City’s Mercy Medical Center. Samuel Congello, DO, a board-certified cardiologist with Mercy’s Heart and Vascular Institute...Read More
ENT & Allergy Patient
As a young girl I was diagnosed with hearing loss in my right ear. I had many ear infections and surgeries, but the problem only got worse. It was getting hard to do my job because I was missing parts of conversations. Hearing aids only caused me more infections. Then I found Dr. Henry Diggelmann at Mason City Clinic. He recommended BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid), which creates sound using bone amplification...Read More
Plastic Surgery Patient
After years as a special education teacher handling children with significant disabilities and behavioral challenges, I began having limited use of my hands due to severe arthritis pain. I found myself fighting back tears every day because the pain was so bad. I could no longer enjoy one of my favorite hobbies, quilting, either. I met with Dr. René Recinos, a plastic surgeon from Mason City Clinic and recommended a procedure called arthrodesis...Read More
Retired school teacher Charlene Hanson used to love walking in the woods – until the pain and inflammation of arthritis took it away from her. Since she had heard such great things at church and in the community about Mason City Clinic’s Orthopedic Department and Dr. Darron Jones, she made them her choice to replace her arthritic hip and knee...Read More
Roger was always very active, but a few years ago his hip started to bother him. When he would go to bed at night the pain was very severe. “I would have to lay on the floor and put my legs up on the couch to relieve the pain,” said Roger.
His orthopedic surgeon at the Mason City Clinic Dr. Darron Jones said, “I can give you cortisone shots, but this is a quality of life question...
Plastic Surgery Patient
Donna Drake lived with a growing basal cell skin cancer (the most common skin cancer) on her lower eyelid for three years. A family practitioner at Franklin General Hospital recommended Mason City Clinic’s plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Mark Mulkey, who identified the cancer and performed the extremely delicate eyelid surgery to remove it and reconstruct her eyelid...Read More
Melody Wagner loved walking until severe pain from bunions stopped her cold. She found a board-certified podiatrist at Mason City Clinic’s Podiatry Department. Podiatrists perform leading-edge surgery for bunions and hammertoes, as well as advanced treatments for diabetic feet, heel pain, ingrown toenails and more. Melody was afraid of a painful procedure and a long recovery...Read More
One snowy night about seven years ago, I felt a sudden pain in the back of my leg. I thought I could shake it off and went out to shovel some snow. After a few minutes, I went back inside and collapsed. My wife called 911 but the ambulance couldn’t get to me because of the snow. My neighbors used snow blowers to clear the road and my driveway so the ambulance could get to me...Read More
I injured my knee as a teenager and had surgery. Then, as I got older, the pain returned and began affecting my routine and overall enjoyment of life. My doctor referred me to Darron Jones, MD, an orthopedic surgeon. After a thorough exam, he said I was a candidate for knee replacement. I had the procedure in late January 2014 and was back among the grapes by the beginning of March...Read More
We have a lot of flower gardens on our acreage, and I was having problems kneeling to weed. I couldn’t walk long distances anymore and it was painful to get in and out of the car, walk up and down the stairs. Simple everyday tasks were hard. Eventually I was limping and in a great deal of pain.” said Sheryl Borcherding of Emmons, MN...Read More
Jane, 70, a retired nurse, is a very active person. She is a mother of one daughter and son in law, and has lots of 4 legged kids: guinea pigs, goats, Newfoundland dogs and 10 cats. I suffered with knee pain for a long time and would always take extra strength Ty-lenol. ..Read More
Gene Wagler, a special needs teacher from Clear Lake, didn’t have a history of heart problems before his heart attack 23 years ago. Gene said, “I didn’t feel any pain that day but I had a “gnawing” sensation in my chest. Within hours Gene was in the Mercy One-North Iowa ER and Dr. Sam Congello, an interventional cardiologist...Read More
GERD Surgical Patient
Kathleen Hanna, 60, is a mother of four, grandmother of nine and a para-assistant at Forest City Elementary School. “I had heartburn with regurgitation for 40 years, have had an ulcer, and have been on heartburn medication for about that long too.” Having been on heartburn medication for many years her physician was becoming worried that it was affecting the function of her kidneys. ..Read More
GERD Surgical Patient
In March 2019, Duane Obanion, 68, a farmer outside of Mason City, Iowa had an acid reflux attack. He aspirated into his lungs and got pneumonia. “I was in New York visiting my daughter when it happened and I ended up in the Urgent Care Center. When I got home I went to my family doctor and she put me in touch with Dr. Matthew Fabian, a general surgeon at the Mason City Clinic”. ..Read More