Cardiothoracic & Vascular Clinic
Mercy’s new Cardiothoracic and Vascular Clinic is led by C.C. Lee, MD, FACS with 24 years of experience in cardiac, thoracic, vascular and endovascular surgery.
Before joining Mercy in June 2017, Dr. Lee was lead cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at the Eastern Division of Marshfield Clinic in Wausau, Wisconsin, for 16 years. He launched an open heart program at Ministry St. Clare’s Hospital in Weston, Wisconsin, immediately developing the program into one achieving stellar marks for quality measurements that far surpass national averages.
Meet our board-certified, fellowship-trained cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon
In addition to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery and valve therapies, Dr. Lee brings new procedures to the community, including minimally invasive off pump CABG surgery, surgical atrial fibrillation and complex aortic pathologies (including thoracic aneurysms and life threatening aortic dissections). He also performs thoracic procedures robotically, and treats hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and esophageal disease. In addition, full vascular service is provided including vein therapy.
Additional procedures that will also be developed include hybrid procedures performed alongside Mercy Cardiologists, including minimally invasive off pump (CABG/coronary stent), valve procedures (TAVR and mitral clip), atrial fibrillation and aortic aneurysm pathologies (TEVAR).
Mercy is committed to providing patients with improved access to cardiac surgical care. In addition to our award-winning cardiology care, our new Cardiothoracic and Vascular Clinic, under the medical direction of Dr. Lee, ensures patients have a full continuum of comprehensive heart, lung and vascular care at Mercy.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
Coronary artery bypass surgery restores blood flow to the heart muscle that is otherwise blocked, or partially blocked. During surgery a healthily vein from the leg or an artery from the can be used to "bypass" (or to go around) a blocked area of the coronary artery.
Heart valves ensure that blood flows in the correct direction within the heart. Surgery is required when one (or more) of the four valves are diseased, disrupting blood flow and causing the heart to not function properly. Valves are replaced or repaired through either open heart, or minimally invasive surgery.
Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass (OP-CAB) Surgery
This procedure is used to decrease surgical risks during coronary artery bypass surgery when restoring blood flow to the heart muscle. This technique uses a device to steady the heart muscle during surgery, allowing the heart to continue beating and avoiding the use of a heart-lung machine.
Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR)
TMR is a procedure that treat chronic chest pain by bringing oxygen rich blood to the heart using a laser. TMR may be done on its own, or in combination with heart bypass surgery.
Aortic Aneurysm Surgery
A thoracic or abdominal aortic aneurysm is a bulge that is at risk of rupturing and, if large enough, may require surgery. A thoracic aortic aneurysm occurs in a weakened area of the aorta where blood passes though the chest cavity. An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs where blood is passing through the abdomen.
Atrial Fibrillation Surgery
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) where the two upper chambers beat irregularly with the two lower chambers. This condition increases the risk of blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Surgery
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease in which the heart muscle enlarges causing the ventricles to thicken and making it harder for the heart to pump blood.
Closure of Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the septum wall between the two upper chambers of the chest and is a condition you are born with (congenital).
Acute Aortic Dissection
An aortic dissection occurs when blood enters the inner layer wall of the aorta causing a tear and eventual separation. This may also lead to blood pooling inside the aortic walls.
A cardiac tumor is an abnormal growth that can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign) that develop in the heart or heart valves.
Robot-Assisted Thoracic Surgery
A surgical procedure utilizing a robot in treating diseases of the lung and heart. Robot-assisted procedures are typically less invasive than traditional surgery and allows an improved stability and view for the surgeon.
The data below represents Dr. Lee’s (represented in blue) Major Morbidity Categories (CABG only) at Ministry St. Clare’s Hospital compared to The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) (national benchmark organization)
The data below represents Dr. Lee’s (represented in blue) Major Mortality rate at Ministry St. Clare’s Hospital compared to The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) (national benchmark organization)
Dr. C.C. Lee’s summary of quality outcomes:
- Deep chest wound infection: 4 times less than the national average.
- Post-op stroke: 6 times less than the national average.
- Post-op kidney failure: almost 3 times less than the national average.
- Staying on the breathing machine for more than 24 hours: almost 8 times less than the national average.
- Open heart mortality: 50% less than the national average.
- Open heart mortality at 30-days after discharge: almost 3 times less than the national average.
Read a profile from The Gazette (PDF), March 29, 2017