As a member of the Montefiore Health System, White Plains Hospital draws upon Montefiore’s rich, 65-year history of successful contributions to the cardiac field to remain at the forefront of cardiac surgery and deliver exceptional outcomes for even our most high-risk patients. Introduced to White Plains Hospital in 2021, cardiac surgeons use state-of-the-art operating rooms and the latest technology to meet the specialized needs of every patient, transforming the Hospital into one of the premier destinations for top-quality and life-saving cardiac care in the Hudson Valley.
Working closely with a network of cardiologists and specialists throughout the Hudson Valley, the Hospital can now provide patients access to complex cardiothoracic procedures and open-heart surgeries, meaning that patients diagnosed with surgically correctable heart disease can stay local to receive the lifesaving care they need.
Expert cardiac care
The White Plains Hospital Cardiac Surgical Team is led by Robert E. Michler, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief and Chairman of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at Montefiore. Dr. Michler is an internationally renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, researcher and a leader in several specialties, including complex cardiac surgery, heart transplantation, valve repair surgery, ventricular reconstruction for congestive heart failure and minimally invasive cardiac surgery.
In his long and prestigious career, Dr. Michler has performed thousands of heart surgeries, including being one of the first to perform minimally invasive and robotic surgery in heart patients. His pivotal work in robotics led to FDA approval of this advanced technology for mitral valve repair and coronary artery bypass surgery. Dr. Michler has been named a “Mitral Valve Repair Reference Surgeon” by the American Heart Association and the Mitral Foundation for the quality of his work. This commendation is held by only a handful of heart surgeons in the United States. In 2017, Dr. Michler received the Vladimir Borakovsky Prize in Moscow from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation for “his personal contributions to the development of cardiovascular surgery.”
An aortic aneurysm occurs when a section of the aorta, the main artery of the heart that carries blood away from your heart to the rest of your body, enlarges. As the thinning, bulging section of the aorta grows, the patient's risk of a life-threatening rupture increases.
During aneurysm surgery, the diseased section of the artery is replaced with a woven synthetic graft. This synthetic graft is a lifetime solution.
Valve repair and replacement are performed to improve the blood flow through a faulty valve. Although the White Plains Hospital Cardiothoracic Surgery program offers cutting-edge procedures for the full spectrum of mechanical and biological valve replacement, our surgeons are dedicated to valve repair when appropriate.
For repair, the procedure depends on the particulars of a patient’s case. For example, a patient with an aneurysm of the ascending aorta may develop insufficiency, which could be treated with repair of the aneurysm itself and tightening of the valve diameter. Insufficiency associated with dilated aortic roots can often be fixed with a valve-sparing root replacement.
In all cases, surgeons offer patients the most minimally invasive approach available. Depending on the circumstances, our surgeons will use breast-bone incisions that are up to two-thirds smaller than the traditional cut.
The surface of the heart is lined with three main arteries embedded in the heart that branch off into numerous smaller blood vessels. These arteries provide oxygen and nourishment to the heart muscle. When an artery or vessel is blocked, surgeons reroute blood flow through a native biologic conduit to detour the blockage and restore excellent blood flow.
In most cases surgeons use the mammary artery, or in the case of multiple bypass, a vein from the leg.
Using a suture that is half the size of a human hair, the surgeon sews the unblocked end of the coronary artery to either the mammary artery or a segment of vein harvested from the leg. This vein is routed around the blockage and connected directly to the aorta, restoring blood flow.
Our surgeons perform cutting-edge procedures for the full spectrum of mechanical and biological valve replacement, and importantly, they are dedicated to repair of the native valve as the primary option—this avoids blood thinners, and has an excellent durability and valve life expectancy when performed by an expert surgeon. One of the world’s experts is Dr. Michler, who has been named a “Mitral Valve Repair Reference Surgeon” by the American Heart Association and the Mitral Foundation. This designation is held by only a handful of surgeons in the United States and is based on their valve repair results and clinical volume.
The procedure for valve repair depends on the particulars of a patient's case. Dr. Michler will thoroughly explain to each patient his operative plan for repair, which may include the Butterfly Repair, Goretex artificial chords or leaflet excision with valvuloplasty.
Designed for an exceptional experience
Our entire team has been hand selected by Dr. Michler and exemplifies the very best in 21st century care. Beyond clinical excellence, we believe in a collaborative approach that is patient-centered and diligently adheres to best practices and evidence-based protocols. Your surgical team will consist of board-certified cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists, intensivists, physician assistants, perfusionists, nurses, nutritionists and physical therapists who are dedicated to unparalleled delivery of care through teamwork, innovation and documented excellence. We work collaboratively to provide an optimal care plan for you to ensure the best possible outcome and quickest recovery.
Your journey will begin with a thorough assessment, resulting in a comprehensive personalized plan for your procedure, recovery and rehabilitation. Your office visit is intended to help answer your questions, get you ready for your surgery, ensure your smooth transition through rehabilitation and prepare you to resume an active lifestyle as soon as possible.
Recognizing that cardiac surgery can be stressful, White Plains Hospital has taken steps to ensure seamless coordination with our patients' primary care physician and cardiologist before and after their care. For many patients, their journey may begin at the Center for Advanced Medicine & Surgery, where they will have an initial consult with their surgeon. All presurgical testing and imaging will be done in the same building using the most advanced diagnostic and imaging equipment currently available.
Surgery will take place in our brand-new operating rooms designed exclusively for cardiac surgery and equipped with the latest medical technology. Following surgery, patients can expect to recover in our dedicated Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit, where they will be monitored by specialty-trained cardiothoracic physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses and support staff.
Upon discharge, the team at the Hospital will arrange for a careful transition of our patients, including those continuing on to Burke Rehabilitation for their specialized outpatient cardiac program. In addition, we will also arrange for all necessary follow up-care and appointments with the patient’s own cardiologist or primary care team.