Cardiothoracic Surgery

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Division at Stony Brook Heart Institute provides multidisciplinary care in a state-of-the-art environment. Our surgeons have extensive experience in all aspects of heart and chest surgery, and are board certified in thoracic surgery, general surgery, and surgical critical care. We offer both advanced minimally invasive alternatives and traditional surgical techniques to provide you with the most appropriate care for your unique cardiovascular condition.

Areas of Expertise

  • Minimally invasive heart surgery
  • Robotic-assisted coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Minimally invasive valve surgery
  • Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation for heart failure
  • Surgery without use of blood transfusion (blood conservation)
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for aortic stenosis
  • Thoracic aortic aneurysm stenting
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Conventional open-heart surgery

Our Team

  • Thomas V. Bilfinger, MD
  • Joanna Chikwe, MD
  • Allison J. McLarty, MD
  • Vinay Tak, MD
  • Henry J. Tannous, MD

The Stony Brook Difference

Stony Brook Medicine was the first medical center on Long Island to offer robotic-assisted heart surgery. In addition to robotic-assisted heart surgery, Stony Brook also offers considerable expertise in minimally invasive valve procedures, left ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation and advanced aortic procedures, including stenting and endovascular repair.

Each of these experts is a forerunner in cardiothoracic surgery with considerable experience in these procedures. Stony Brook Medicine is also a tertiary care center, meaning we offer highly specialized care to treat complex medical problems. We are the only tertiary care center for the eastern half of Long Island, and our clinical quality and breadth of patient care are second to none.

As part of a world-renowned research university, the cardiothoracic surgeons at the Heart Institute at Stony Brook Medicine explore causes, treatments, and prevention of cardiovascular disease not only to further the science of medicine, but also to see that you truly receive the most advanced care. We operate on the heart, but we focus on all aspects of your care.

We make your overall care, comfort, and well-being a top priority. We see that you and your family receive exceptional treatment during your stay. Even after you leave us, we follow up on your care as expected, but we also invite you back for a celebration of your success with our cardiothoracic teams. Our annual celebration dinner for heart surgery patients remains our most important event of the year.

Another way in which we distinguish ourselves is customer service. Team members frequently visit patient rooms to find out how we can improve our service to you. We also provide:

  • Our clinical "concierge" to help you and your family with your cardiovascular care and your referring physician
  • A service to help you and your family make reservations and locate amenities in the local community
  • In-room services such as daily newspaper delivery, flat-screen TVs, and wireless Internet access
  • Greeters at all entrances and escorts that assist between the lobby and parking garage.

Cardiothoracic Surgery Services

Our highly skilled specialists will work closely with you and your physician to determine the best treatment approach for your disorder. Our cardiothoracic surgeons at Stony Brook Medicine are highly regarded for their expertise in treating patients in a high-risk state following a heart attack or heart failure. Our services include:

  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, including minimally invasive off-pump CABG, robotic-assisted CABG, and thoracoscopic CABG
  • Valve surgery, including valve repair and replacement using minimally invasive alternatives or open surgery
  • Cardiac reconstructive surgery
  • Adult congenital heart surgery
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis (IHSS) reconstruction
  • Major aortic surgery and endovascular aortic surgery for thoracic aortic aneurysm, thoracic aortic dissection, and traumatic aortic rupture
  • Ventricular assist device implantation, including Destination therapy, biventricular assist device, and intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP)
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for aortic stenosis
  • Surgery without use of blood transfusion, known as blood conservation
  • Conventional open-heart surgery