WVU Medicine has built one of the finest cardiac surgery programs in the United States, and did so by recruiting several leading cardiac surgeons from some of the most notable academic medical centers in the world.

Their commitment to our patients is to work closely with them and their families to develop a comprehensive treatment plan, one that is grounded in trust and open communications, and built on the notion that every patient deserves a compassionate care team whose only focus is to care for that patient and provide them the best outcome possible.

Surgical Services

Our cardiac surgeons offer a wide range of services – everything from mitral valve repair to cardiac bypasses. Specific surgeries include:

  • Aortic surgery
  • Atrial fibrillation surgery
  • Bypass surgery
  • Congenital heart surgery
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy surgery – septal myectomy
  • Heart failure surgery – left ventricular assist devices, left ventricular reconstruction
  • Valve surgery

Our surgeons also use the most advanced procedures, including minimally invasive cardiac surgery, robotic-assisted cardiac surgery, transcatheter valve procedures (including Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement – TAVR), and percutaneous mitral valve treatments. The cardiac surgery team also is on the forefront of using new technologies, procedures, and treatments for cardiac patients.

In October of 2016, the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute perform the first minimally invasive procedure to implant the Tendyne Bioprosthetic Mitral Valve to combat mitral regurgitation (MR). The Institute is one of only 25 institutions worldwide chosen to participate in the clinical trial of this device.

Patient Testimonial – Restoring Paul’s Passion For Running


Additional Videos

Contact Us

For an appointment, visit our appointment information page, or call 855-WVU-CARE (855-988-2273).

What is sudden cardiac death?

Sudden cardiac death (also known as sudden cardiac arrest) is most commonly caused by a rapid, erratic heart rhythm. If not treated, death occurs within minutes. Approximately 95% of people do not survive sudden cardiac death.

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is different from a heart attack. A heart attack results when blood flow is blocked to part of the heart muscle. SCD occurs when the electrical impulses that control the heart’s rhythm speed up and/or become chaotic.

Who is at risk?

People who’ve been treated for heart attacks and chronic heart failure are at greatly increased risk for SCD. High-risk patients are defined as those who have an ejection fraction (the amount of blood ejected from the heart during each beat) of less than 35%. But SCD can—and does—happen in people who look and feel healthy and who have not been diagnosed with heart disease or other risk factors.

People who’ve been treated for heart attacks and congestive heart failure have a greater chance of sudden cardiac death (SCD) – death as a result of a chaotically beating heart. Many such patients don’t get the follow-up care they need to determine their risk for SCD. Dr. Robert Hull, a WVU Medicine electrophysiologist, discusses SCD to help people understand the issue.

How can you avoid SCD?

Heart doctors called electrophysiologists perform tests that show if a person is at increased risk. An implantable defibrillator device (ICD) can reduce the chance of SCD. The ICD monitors the heart for abnormal rhythms and delivers an electrical shock to restore the heart’s normal rhythm.

People who have been hospitalized for a coronary intervention (such as angioplasty), coronary bypass, or a newly diagnosed heart failure should be re-evaluated 90 days after they are discharged. A patient who has suffered a heart attack should be re-evaluated at 40 days. This delay gives the heart time to heal and can make preventive procedures safer. If the heart is still weak, an ICD may be needed to reduce the chance of sudden cardiac death.

What else can you do?

A heart-healthy lifestyle—regular exercise, avoiding smoking, eating a healthy diet, and staying at a healthy weight—can help reduce the risk of SCD and other heart disease. It also helps to treat conditions that contribute to heart problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

To learn more about sudden cardiac death, visit the American Heart Association’s Sudden Cardiac Death page.

The Heart Rhythm Society has a sudden cardiac death risk assessment tool. Visit their website to learn more.

WVU Heart and Vascular Institute cardiologists are the first physicians in the state to implant the WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure Implant, a new treatment for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. This therapy is the only treatment for patients who previously did not have an option to reduce the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation.

Twenty percent of all strokes occur in patients with AF, and AF-related strokes are more frequently fatal and disabling. For patients with AF who are at risk for stroke but are unsuitable for blood thinners, the WATCHMAN implant is an alternative to reduce their risk of AF-related stroke. It closes off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep harmful blood clots from forming in the LAA and potentially causing a stroke. By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke is reduced and, over time, patients stop taking blood-thinning medication.

Implanting the WATCHMAN Device is a one-time procedure that usually lasts about an hour. Following the procedure, patients typically need to stay in the hospital for 24 hours.

Contact Us

For more information about Watchman or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, call 855-WVU-CARE (855-988-2273).

Vinay Badhwar, MD, FACS, FACC


Executive Chair, WVU Heart & Vascular Institute; Gordon F. Murray Professor and Chair, Department of Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery, WVU SOM
J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, WVU Heart and Vascular Institute
View Profile855-WVU-CARE

Chris Cook, MD


Program Director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency Program, Division of Cardiac Surgery, Associate Professor
WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital
View Profile855-WVU-CARE

Jeremiah Hayanga, MD, MPH, FACS


Thoracic Surgeon
WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital
View Profile855-WVU-CARE

Harold Roberts, MD


Co - Director of Program Integration for Advanced Cardiac Surgery, Division of Cardiac Surgery, Assistant Professor
WVU Heart and Vascular Institute
View Profile855-WVU-CARE

Muhammad Salman, MD


Assistant Professor, Surgical Director of Advanced Heart Failure Program
WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital
View Profile855-WVU-CARE

Lawrence Wei, MD


Co-Director, Center for Aortic Surgery and Director, Center for Aortic Valve Disease; Associate Professor of Medicine
WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital
View Profile855-WVU-CARE