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Cardiothoracic Surgery

Finding out that you need cardiothoracic (heart, lung or vascular) surgery can bring on a flood of emotions, from fear of the procedure to relief about getting the care you need.

That’s why the cardiothoracic surgeons at Stormont Vail Health are committed to making surgery as successful and stress-free as possible.

As you prepare for surgery and complete the recovery process, we also make sure to take care of any other needs that arise. You will have access to cardiology, financial assistance, spiritual guidance — the type of care you need to make the most of your time at Stormont Vail.

Before and after surgery, we recommend our patients keep up with their primary care providers, who can perform physicals, give vaccines, and screen for other illnesses to make sure that your body is strong and ready for surgery.

Conditions We Treat

Many types of heart, lung and vascular conditions require surgery. Some of the most common conditions include:

  • Atrial Fibrillation

    Arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) that begins in the upper chambers of the hearts. Untreated, it can lead to stroke, blood clots or heart failure.
  • Aneurysm

    Part of the wall in an artery weakens, causing it to widen and balloon out. The aneurysm can rupture or split in the artery wall. Both events can be life-threatening.
  • Carotid Artery Disease

    Plaque (a fatty buildup that hardens) clogs your blood vessels that are responsible for bringing blood to the brain and head. This increases your risk of stroke.
  • Venous Thromboembolism

    A blood clot begins in one of your veins. Deep vein thrombosis occurs when the clot is in a deep vein, such as the leg or arm. Pulmonary embolisms occur when a deep vein thrombosis breaks free from the wall of the vein, moves to the lungs, and blocks blood supply.
  • Heart Failure

    Your heart muscle becomes weak, and can’t pump as well as it should.
  • Coronary Heart Disease

    Plaque builds up inside of your arteries. Over time, the plaque can harden or rupture, and potentially cause blood clots.
  • Lung Cancer and Infections

  • Problems of the esophagus (swallowing tube)

Non-surgical treatments, as well as care for less severe heart problems that do not require major surgery (e.g., aortic stenosis), are treated by cardiologists at the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center.

Our Treatments and Services

The surgeries we offer include:

  • Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation

    The tissue that’s triggering your arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) is scarred or destroyed, preventing abnormal electrical signals from entering the heart. This is usually done via catheter (a long, flexible tube inserted through a vein or artery, which delivers heat or cold to the tissue).
  • Endovascular Repair of Thoracic and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

    A stent — a small, metal mesh tube — is attached to the wall of your aorta, where the aneurysm is located. The aneurysm will eventually shrink around the stent, and will not be able to bleed out into your body.
  • Micro-Invasive Thoracic Sympathectomy

    The nerves in your chest that cause hyperhidrosis — unusually heavy sweating — are cut, clipped or destroyed.
  • Vena Cava (VC) Filter Placement

    A filtering device is placed into your vena cava — the large vein that returns blood from your head, neck, and extremities to your heart. It traps clots, keeping them from reaching the heart and lungs. The filter is often used in patients with venous thromboembolism (clots in the veins) to prevent pulmonary embolisms (clots in the lungs).
  • Peripheral Angiogram and Stenting

    Angioplasty opens up blocked or narrowed blood vessels that bring blood to your legs. A stent keeps the vessel open. These procedures improve blood flow and can stop achiness or pain in your legs.
  • Coronary Bypass

    Surgeons take an artery from elsewhere in your body, and use it to redirect blood flow from around a blocked artery in your heart. The new pathway improves blood flow to the heart muscle, and reduces your risk of death from heart disease.

    Surgery to treat problems of the esophagus (swallowing tube), peripheral vascular system (blood vessels outside of the heart and brain), carotid artery (vessel that brings blood to the face and brain), lung cancer, lung infections and several types of heart disease.

Minor, outpatient procedures, such as stent placement for an arrhythmia, are performed at the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center.

Minimally Invasive Procedures

For several surgeries, we are able to use minimally invasive procedures. These involve only a few small cuts rather than a large incision. Usually, this means less pain, quicker recovery, a shorter hospital stay and fewer risks of complications.

The minimally invasive procedures we perform include:

  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR): A replacement valve is inserted into your aortic valve, without removing your current damaged valve.
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS): A tiny camera is inserted into your chest and captures images, allowing the surgeon to diagnose and treat problems without making large cuts.
  • Vena cava filter placement (see above)
  • Endovascular repair of the abdominal aortic aneurysm (see above)

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Many of our patients are referred to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program to help them recover from cardiothoracic surgery. The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program staff follow patients through recovery, teach them about living a healthy lifestyle, and help them build up fitness and strength through exercise.

Meet Our Cardiothoracic Surgeons and Providers

Kayleigh Baker

Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgery

Emily Fuller

Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgery

Michael B. Kinsman

Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgery

McKenna K. Seiler

Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgery

Peter J. Tutuska

Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgery

Joseph C. Vaglio

Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgery

Sara Vodde

Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgery

Bastian J. Wilhelm

Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgery

Next Steps For Patients

Make an Appointment

  • Patients need a referral to schedule cardiothoracic surgery. Call (785) 270-8625 to confirm that your physician has submitted a referral, and we will begin the scheduling process.
  • If you need non-surgical treatment for a heart condition, contact the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center at (785) 270-4000 or (800) 468-0177 for more information.
  • If you need to reach your cardiothoracic surgeon, call us at (785) 270-8625.

See a Primary Care Provider

  • Call (785) 270-4440 to schedule an appointment with your Stormont Vail primary care provider.
  • Not a Stormont Vail patient? Call (785) 270-4440 to set up your first appointment with one of our primary care providers.

Check With Your Insurance

Before your appointment, check with your insurance company to learn about coverage. Click here for a list of Kansas Insurance Company phone numbers and websites.


You can stay connected to Stormont Vail through our online portal, MyChart. The portal lets you schedule an E-Visit or appointment, renew prescriptions, view your medical records and test results, and contact your care team.

MyChart Login Learn More About MyChart

Next Steps For Referring Providers

  • If you are a Stormont Vail provider, you can send a referral through the referral work queue on Epic.
  • If you are not a Stormont Vail provider, call (785) 270-8625 to refer your patient.