Genesee County Patients in Need of Heart Surgery Can Get the High-Quality Care They Need, Close to Home

McLaren Flint's Award Winning Heart Program Offers Comprehensive Treatment Options

Author: Sherry Farney

Heart disease has been and continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Decades ago, McLaren Flint committed to offering the most current and comprehensive heart care to meet the community’s needs in a setting close to home.

This commitment has always included the expertise of highly-trained physicians and staff, as well as regularly investing in the latest technology and ensuring a state-of-the-art facility. However, what’s equally important is the quality-of-care patients receive.

“When patients are in need of a heart surgery, and they sit down with their doctor to discuss who and where to go to, both experience and quality of care should be a part of that discussion,” said Sanjay Batra, MD, Director of Surgical Structural Heart at McLaren Flint. “Our clinical team and support staff strive to not only offer the latest procedures to patients, but to do so with the quality of that care at the forefront.

“We are extremely proud to be able to say we are Genesee County’s three-star hospital for coronary artery bypass grafting, a distinction given to the top 10 percent of hospitals nationally by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.”

In recent years, the hospital’s structural heart program has made available numerous minimally invasive atrial-fibrillation and valve replacement and repair procedures, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)MitraClip, and Watchman. The name of the program refers to conditions of the heart that a person was either born with or have developed due to aging. Examples include the narrowing of one of the heart’s main valves, holes in the heart, and valves no longer closing properly.

More and more, structural heart procedures are not open surgical procedures but instead are done using minimally invasive techniques. This means less pain and quicker recoveries for patients. The procedures can be either replacements or repairs of the heart’s anatomy, using very small devices. Those devices are threaded up through the body to the heart inside of catheters that most often are inserted through the patient’s groin. Once they make it to the heart, they are placed precisely where they need to be through a real time view of the heart made possible with X-ray fluoroscopic and echocardiographic imaging.

“With any kind of surgery there is always risk, and we watch for infections, heart attacks, or strokes after these life-changing and life-saving procedures. The good news is those types of complications are almost unheard of,” said Dr. Batra. “In addition, because of the numerous minimally invasive procedures, even patients in their 80’s and 90’s can be eligible for replacements and repairs, which was not an option just a few years ago.

“We are seeing quicker recoveries and the quality of care continues to increase. It’s a win for everyone involved. We have set the bar high and will continue to do so - our patients and their families deserve it.”

To meet McLaren’s heart experts or learn more about all the cardiac procedures offered close-to-home, visit