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VA Boston Healthcare System


Cardiac Surgery

Cardiac Surgery Service at VA Boston Healthcare System is one of the largest and busiest in the VA Healthcare System, serving as the primary referral center for veterans throughout New England. We are staffed by two full-time cardiac surgeons, two full-time physician assistants, and rotating residents from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center.

Approximately 200-250 cardiac surgical cases are performed every year and a wide range of services are provided, including:

 - high-risk surgeries
 - complex combined valve and heart bypass procedures
 - off-pump surgery 
 - minimally invasive surgery

In addition to isolated cardiac surgeries, we also work with vascular surgeons in performing complex aortic surgeries.

Cardiac Service addresses all types of cardiac disease. Patients who have complaints of chest discomfort such as heaviness or tightness, or those who experience shortness of breath may have a cardiac condition. They should ask their physician’s opinion on a referral for cardiac evaluation to determine if abnormalities exist and the proper course of treatment.

Reducing blood-loss:
Patients undergoing cardiac surgery at the Boston VA Healthcare System are placed on the heart-lung machine using a unique cardiopulmonary bypass circuit that is coated with the anticoagulant heparin. This technique reduces the amount of heparin that needs to be administered to the patient to prevent clotting while on the heart-lung machine. As a result, blood loss with surgery is reduced and fewer bleeding complications after surgery are seen.
Our team of professionals at VA Boston is uniquely experienced in the use of this technology.

Research news: 
Aside from providing a full spectrum of clinical services, Cardiac Surgery Service participates in several research studies. Studies include the use of pH heart probes to monitor heart protection during surgery and the development of methods to reduce postoperative chest infection.

One of the crowning achievements of the VA system was initiated by Dr. Shukri Khuri, former Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at VA Boston. Dr. Khuri pioneered the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP), a program that evaluates patient risk factors and outcomes after surgery. Although this program was initiated to monitor and improve postoperative outcomes within the VA system, its success led to adoption by the American College of Surgeons for use in private-sector hospitals where it remains one of the best-recognized and widely-used assessment systems for outcomes after surgery.

Contact Info


  • Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Brockton

Contact Number(s)

  • 800-865-3384

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday
    8 am - 4 pm