Cardiothoracic Surgery

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Cardiothoracic is the field of medicine pertaining to the organs inside the chest (the thorax), including the heart, lungs and esophagus. The terms cardiac, thoracic, cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgeon are sometimes used interchangeably in the medical field for surgeons who specialize in surgery of the chest. While there is some overlap, cardiovascular generally refers to surgery for conditions outside of the heart.

At Wichita Surgical Specialists, our cardiothoracic surgeons provide comprehensive care for patients suffering from heart problems, including heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, congenital heart disease or heart failure, arrhythmias, and atrial fibrillation (AFib).

However, our specialists also perform surgical treatment for diseases of the chest, including lung cancer, benign pulmonary nodules, lymphoma, chest wall diseases, and esophageal disease.

What is Heart Disease?

The term heart disease is used to describe many types of heart problems. The most common is coronary artery disease (sometimes referred to as coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease), which is when plaque (fatty deposits) builds up on the heart arteries, restricting blood flow to the heart. This decreased blood flow weakens the heart muscle over time, which can lead to chest pain or discomfort and potentially cause arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), heart failure or even a heart attack.

An arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat; unusually fast (more than 100 beats per minute) or unusually slow (less than 60 beats per minute). Arrhythmia is caused by changes to the heart tissue, which can be a result of high blood pressure, disease, injury, genetics or even medications.

Symptoms of an arrhythmia can be broad, and some patients don’t notice any symptoms. A few common symptoms include the feeling of a skipped heartbeat or a fluttering in the chest, dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, and blurred vision.

Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease (or coronary heart disease) is caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries. This buildup reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart, which can lead to chest pain or blood clots. Blood clots are the most common cause of heart attacks.

Heart Attacks

Heart attacks are the result of the heart muscle not receiving enough blood. This can be caused by a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances that cause blockages in the heart arteries. The longer without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart. 

Pacemakers and coronary artery bypass surgery are used to treat patients suffering from heart attacks. For patients who are not well enough to undergo open-heart surgery, our cardiac surgeons may be able to replace the heart valve using a minimally invasive, FDA-approved, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure. 

Symptoms of a heart attack can vary between men and women. To learn more about the most common warning signs of a heart attack, visit the American Heart Association’s website at 

Heart Disease Facts & Prevention

When it comes to matters of the heart, the numbers are staggering. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), heart disease affects more men and women in the United States than any other condition. More than 800,000 people suffer a heart attack each year. In addition, more than 650,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. every year.

Early detection is crucial for the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Regular checkups as well as lifestyle changes can make a big impact in preventing it from impacting your life. Here are some of the steps you can take to aid in the prevention of heart disease:

  • Get regular physical activity
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet (low salt, fats, and cholesterol)
  • Aim for an optimal weight
  • Manage stress
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • Don’t smoke

The National Institute of Health (NIH) offers some helpful information regarding the risk factors for heart disease. Click here to learn more.

Our cardiothoracic specialists are committed to the highest quality and most comprehensive care for patients suffering from heart problems. For questions or to schedule an appointment with one of our cardiothoracic surgeons, please call 316-858-5000, or toll-free 866-858-5001.

Our Physicians

  • Matthew A. Arneson, MD, FACS
    • Cardiothoracic Surgery
    • Coronary Artery Bypass
    • Thoracoscopy
    • Thoracic Surgery
  • Headshot photo of Dr. Sanjay Khicha, cardiothoracic surgeon with Wichita Surgical Specialists Sanjay G. Khicha, MD, FACS
    • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
    • Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement
    • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
    • Surgery for Atrial Fibrillation
    • Mitral Valve Repair Surgery
    • Aortic Surgery
    • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
    • Thoracic Stent Graft Surgery
    • General Thoracic Surgery, Including Lung Cancer & Benign Lung Disease
  • Headshot photo of Dr. Brett Grizzell, cardiothoracic surgeon with Wichita Surgical Specialists Brett E. Grizzell, MD, FACS
    • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
    • Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair/Replacement
    • Valve Surgery
    • Robotic Lung Resection / Lung Cancer Surgery
    • Coronary Revascularization
    • Esophageal Resection
  • Bethany G. Harpole, MD
    • Aortic Surgery
    • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
    • Valve Surgery
    • Surgery for Atrial Fibrillation
    • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
    • Robotic, Minimally Invasive & Open Surgery for Benign & Malignant Lung, Mediastinal & Esophageal Conditions
    • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
  • Jordan D. Groskurth, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon Jordan D. Groskurth, MD
    • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
    • Valvular Heart Disease
    • Surgery for Atrial Fibrillation
    • Robotic Surgery for Benign & Malignant Thoracic Disease, Including Lung Cancer, Mediastinal Tumors & Esophageal Cancer
    • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)