Cardiothoracic Surgery

The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UAMS has a long history in the State of Arkansas. Our surgeons provide state-of- the-art cardiothoracic surgical care to patients of all ages, and have been pioneers in advancing techniques and procedures. Care is provided at three hospitals in Little Rock – the UAMS Medical Center, the John C. McClellan Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Our division provides comprehensive care in the three branches of cardiothoracic surgery:

Adult Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)  is led by Drs. Gareth Tobler and Aytekin Ozdemir. Pioneers in CT surgery in Arkansas, they provide advanced care for all forms of coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, diseases of the thoracic aorta, and cardiac rhythm disorders.

Thoracic Surgery  is led by Dr. Matthew Steliga. Dr. Steliga joined UAMS after completing a subspecialty fellowship in Thoracic Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. In addition to complex thoracic surgical reconstructions that include diseases of the lungs, esophagus and chest wall, UAMS is a leader in the comprehensive care and management of lung and esophagus cancer.  We work closely with a group of medical specialists to review all cases prior to beginning therapy, making every case individually personalized. This includes oncologists, pulmonologists (lung specialists),  radiation oncologists, and radiologists to form a multi-disciplinary care team for patients with lung cancer at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.

Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery is led by Michiaki Imamura who performs heart surgery at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, as part of the Heart Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, which includes 18 pediatric cardiologists and pediatric cardiac intensivists, as well as pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists. The center provides the entire range of pediatric cardiac care with a special focus on neonatal heart surgery, mechanical circulatory support (including ECMO and ventricular assist device), and cardiac transplantation. Surgical care is delivered in a dedicated pediatric cardiac intensive care unit. There is also a rapidly expanding program for adults with congenital heart disease.