Saint Thomas West and Saint Thomas Midtown Hospitals Receive Highest Heart Surgery Ratings From The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Saint Thomas West Hospital and Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital have received from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) the highest possible ratings—three-star ratings—for overall quality regarding two heart procedures:  isolated coronary artery bypass surgery or graft (CABG) and isolated aortic valve replacement (AVR).  The ratings time period for CABG was July 2015 through June 2016 and the ratings time period for AVR was July 2013 through June 2016.

These high ratings are particularly noteworthy because just 21 of 1,024 participants in the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database received the highest possible rating for both isolated CABG and isolated AVR.  Additionally, three-star ratings were awarded to just 9.55% of the participants for isolated CABG and just 7.48% of the participants for isolated AVR.  Saint Thomas Health is a part of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health system.

Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) is a surgical procedure performed to correct a blockage to the heart and restore normal blood flow to an obstructed coronary artery.  Aortic valve replacement (AVR) is a surgical procedure in which a patient’s failing aortic valve is replaced with an artificial heart valve.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is an international not-for-profit organization, established in 1964, and represents approximately 7,400 cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers and other health care professionals.  STS collects data on surgical outcomes in the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, a component of the STS National Database.  The Adult Cardiac Surgery Database houses approximately 5.9 million surgical records and gathers information from more than 90 percent of the groups that perform cardiac surgery in the United States.

“The Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ data is widely recognized as the best measure of heart surgery program quality,” said Dr. Brian Wilcox, Chief Physician Executive, Saint Thomas Heart.  “Our 3-star rating confirms that the Saint Thomas Heart program is one of the finest programs in the United States. Patients can know they are cared for by one of the largest, most innovative and highest-quality programs in the country.”  Of the 1,400 heart surgeries performed by Saint Thomas Heart in the last year, more than 900 of them were CABG and AVR.

“We perform these operations several times every day in both of our cardiac surgical hospitals,” Dr. Wilcox added


In Tennessee, Ascension’s Saint Thomas Health operates nine hospitals in addition to a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities that cover a 68-county area and employ more than 8,000 associates.  Across the state, Saint Thomas Health provided more than $78 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2016.  Serving Tennessee for 15 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable.  Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia.