Cardiac (heart) tumors are most often benign or noncancerous. They have the potential, however, to become cancerous, and their presence may interfere with normal heart function and possibly cause a stroke. A cardiac tumor requires immediate and careful treatment.
Imaging and surgical expertise at Weill Cornell Medicine
The Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery has exceptional experience detecting and treating benign and cancerous cardiac tumors.
Benign tumors: Our surgeons are experienced in removing benign tumors of the heart, such as myxomas and fibroelastomas. The most common benign heart tumor is a myxoma, an abnormal growth of neoplastic tissue, which can block valves or cause a stroke.
Malignant (cancerous) tumors: Malignant heart tumors—typically sarcomas—are less common and require careful consideration. Our heart surgeons are experienced in removing resectable tumors of the great vessels and the heart.
Our surgeons will review your findings with you and help guide you toward the proper treatment. Careful analysis of the imaging is required to ensure that we can perform a complete resection of the tumor.
Why choose Weill Cornell Medicine?
We recommend visiting the Weill Cornell Medicine Cardiothoracic Department website, as well as the American Heart Association.
Once you and your care team decide that surgery is the best treatment plan for your condition, you will schedule a pre-surgical appointment, which takes place at M404.
During your pre-surgical appointment:
Your nurse practitioner will explain what you can expect for your specific surgery and hospital stay
Your nurse practitioner will review your current medications
You will sign a consent form for the surgery and potential blood transfusion (Please note: Most patients do not receive blood transfusions during surgery, but we are required to have you sign this consent form, just in case you do need a transfusion and are not awake at the time to give your consent. ALL blood is stringently tested for HIV, hepatitis, and cytomegalovirus.)
You have the opportunity to ask questions
You will receive a small bottle of antibacterial soap
This process generally takes two to three hours.
Parking is available in front of the 68th Street circular entrance to the hospital. There are also several parking garages in the immediate area.
Parking is only validated on the day of your hospital discharge, not on the day of your pre-surgical appointment.
Please be sure to bring you:
Pajamas, robe, and slippers
Generally try not to bring too much to the hospital, because you probably won't use a lot of these things and will just have to carry them home.
Please do not bring any jewelry or expensive electronics with you for the first hospital day. Your family and friends are welcome to bring those items once you are awake and in your room.
Please check in at Greenberg 3-West (Same-Day Surgery Unit), which is on the third floor of the Greenberg Pavilion, using the "G" elevators.
If you are the first case, please check in at 6 AM. If you are the second case, please check in at 10 AM.
The usual length of the actual cardiac surgery is about three and a half to four hours. However, the total length of time your family member will spend in the operating room is longer. Much of that "extra time" is spent preparing you for surgery and getting you ready to go to the recovery room (PACU) or ICU following surgery.
During your surgery, your family and friends should wait in the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute Atrium. Please tell them to check in at the front desk so that they can be contacted when your surgeon calls.
If the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute Atrium is closed at the time of your surgery, your family and friends may wait in the smaller waiting area right outside the Cardiothoracic ICU (4-West).
There is also a café on the first floor of the hospital, directly opposite the information desk and down the hall from the front door on the left, which is open at all times. This café sells coffee, tea, and a variety of food.
Please download our extensive Guide to Surgery.
Please see Insurance Questions or call (212) 746-5161.