Cardiothoracic (heart and lung)

Beebe Healthcare offers an advanced Cardiothoracic Surgery program as part of our comprehensive Cardiac & Vascular Services which includes cardiac surgery, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, vascular surgery and interventions, a full range of cardiac and vascular testing and monitoring, cardiac rehab, and the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program.

Beebe's highly trained cardiothoracic surgery team, includes M.L. Ray Kuretu, MD, Medical Director of Cardiac Surgery, Kurt Wehberg, MD, Co-Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Edward Stephenson, Jr., MD, board certified cardiac surgeon. They, along with specialized physician assistants and surgical teams, perform advanced cardiac and thoracic procedures. Procedures are performed using traditional (open) and minimally invasive methods, including robotically assisted surgery. The team follows patients through their treatment and recovery process.

Meet the Team.


The Latest Innovations

Beebe's Center for Robotic Surgery utilizes the latest in robotic technology - the da Vinci Xi Surgical System. It is this robotic surgical system that Forbes called the surgery of the future. Watch the video and learn more.

Beebe's Center for Robotic Surgery.


Advanced Cardiac Surgery

Beebe’s cardiac surgeons offer specific heart surgery programs to better serve our patients:

  • Congestive Heart Failure. Statistics show patients with CHF are admitted to the hospital an average of three times per year. In addition, nearly 50 percent of patients die within five years of the initial diagnosis. At Beebe, our CHF Center of Excellence completes procedures including high-risk CABG, Impella device implantation, CardioHelp pulmonary-heart support, and LV aneurysmorraphy/resection.
  • Atrial Fibrillation. Studies show that by 2050, nearly 16 million Americans are expected to have AF. Beebe’s AF Center of Excellence provides a full spectrum of treatments for abnormal heart rhythms, including education, surgical procedures including modified Maze, pulmonary vein isolation, robotically assisted device implantations and minimally invasive LV epicardial lead. The comprehensive program includes post-discharge follow up and recovery plans.
  • Myocardial Revascularization Program. Procedures include CABG, da Vinci robotically assisted LIMA harvest and MIDCAB, among others.
  • Pericardial Disease Program.
  • Structural Heart Program. A multidisciplinary approach to repairing valve issues within the heart. 
  • Thoracic Aortic Disease. Under the direction of Dr. Ray Kuretu, surgical team perform ascending aortic replacement, ascending aortic dissections, and aortoplasty. 


Advanced Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic surgery or procedures of the lungs, chest, and esophagus, are performed based on the patient’s needs and wishes. There are multiple treatment options, including traditional, minimally invasive, and robotically assisted surgeries. The Cardiothoracic team offers specific, personalized programs:

  • Thoracic Oncology Program. Procedures include robotically assisted wedge resection, anatomic segmentectomy, lobectomy, and bi-lobectomy. Additional procedures include pneumonectomy, pancoast tumor resection, and chest wall resection.
  • Pulmonary Nodule Clinic. Procedures include EBUS (endobronchial ultrasound), robotically assisted “Tatooing” wedge resection, and anatomic wedge resection.
  • Mediastinal Disease Program. Benign or cancerous tumors in the area of the chest, often found during chest X-rays or scans, can be removed robotically using the da Vinci Xi surgical system. Procedures include: resection of anterior and/or posterior masses and thymectomy.
  • Chest Wall Disease Program. Reconstruction or resection of the chest wall include: ORIF sternum, ribs; pectoralis and omental flap coverage; pancoast tumor resection; and chest wall tumor resection.
  • Esophageal Disease Program. Procedures include minimally invasive complex hiatal hernia repair (Belsey-Mark IV repair), esophageal cancer surgery, and robotically assisted esophageal tumor and cyst removal, including leiomyomas.
  • Diaphragm Disease Program. Surgical procedures include: repair of diaphragm hernias (Morgagni, Hiatal-Belsey Mark IV Fundoplication, Bochdaleck Hernias) and diaphragm plication for eventration (VATS and robotically assisted procedures).
  • Pleural Disease Program. Procedures include PleurX (malignant pleural effusion), VATS (video-assisted thoracic surgery), robotically assisted decortication, and pleural tumor resection.


Technology for Our Community

Beebe's cardiothoracic team utilizes the latest advances in heart and vein care. Surgeries are performed in modern operating rooms with Stryker Visium LED II lighting and in-light cameras with 32X zoom capability that allow the procedure to be viewed on monitors around the room. A powerful Phillips EPIQ 7 ultrasound imaging system delivers premium clarity. Other technologies include:

  • An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) that increases coronary perfusion and improves patient outcomes in high-risk cases
  • First hospital in Delaware to use the CardioHelp system, Maquet’s portable heart-lung machine that provides extracorporeal life support (ECLS) to replace or support a patient’s circulation and respiration.
  • First hospital on Delmarva to install Impella - world's smallest heart pump - for high-risk patients.

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