A distinguishing characteristic of our program is the fact that we're part of the integrated, multispecialty D-H system. That means everyone in Cardiac Surgery works collaboratively with members of Cardiovascular Medicine (which conducts many of the diagnostic tests involved in determining whether or not you have heart disease), as well as with specialists in the other sections involved with heart health. As a result, the best diagnostic insights, the best consultation and treatment advice, and the best surgical skills are all focused on your particular situation.
For example, D-H is a leader in using intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography—meaning a cardiologist is capturing ultrasound motion pictures of your heart while your cardiac surgeon is actually operating. This teamwork gives D-H cardiac surgeons real-time, objective feedback on the functional effectiveness of their work.
The Section of Cardiac Surgery is also committed to rigorous assessment of the outcome of every procedure we perform. Our team includes a full-time data coordinator, and we report all our results to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. D-H was also a founding member of the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group, a regional 10-hospital consortium dedicated to the continuous improvement of cardiothoracic surgery processes, risk assessments, and decision making.
This collaborative approach is further augmented by many other resources associated with D-H, including our inpatient and outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Program and our Center for Shared Decision Making, as well as The Dartmouth Institute for Health Practice and Clinical Policy, Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine and more.
Patients thus benefit not just from one point of view but from cross-disciplinary input and a balanced assessment of the risks and benefits of every option that may be appropriate to their specific situation.