Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Programs and Specialties

at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) in New Brunswick is New Jersey’s largest academic medical center serving communities in New Jersey and beyond. Our Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Services deliver comprehensive, compassionate care using evidence-based guidelines and the latest treatment techniques.

Awarded with the prestigious Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Ventricular Assist Device (VAD), Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s mission is to provide human-centered care while becoming a national leader in predicting, preventing and curing cardiovascular disease.

Our state-of-the-art Critical Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CIVCU) provides world-class cardiac care to patients undergoing cardiac surgery such as TAVR, heart transplant and ventricular assist device implantation in a warm, family-centered setting.

Cardiac Catheterization Lab

Our Cardiac Catheterization Lab at RWJUH utilizes the latest developments in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to identify and treat abnormalities in the structure and function of the heart, vascular, and thoracic system. Staffed with medical experts versed in performing a wide range of invasive and interventional procedures, our lab is one of the busiest in the region. Performing over 5,000 procedures across our eight laboratories, our labs are among the most clinically advanced in the area.

With access to state-of-the-art imaging technology like the 4D intracardiac echo (ICE), we have enhanced capability to guide procedures such as left atrial appendage closure, mitral valve repair and tricuspid valve regurgitation treatment. This technology enables precise interventions while minimizing the need for general anesthesia.

Stress Test Laboratory

Equipped with leading-edge technologies, our Stress Test Laboratory aids in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Led by cardiologists, nuclear medicine specialists and medical professionals, this lab performs physical tests combined with single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT), cardiography and other diagnostic equipment to identify and isolate potential areas of heart disease.

Programs and Specialties We Offer

  • Advanced Heart Failure, Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD), and Heart Transplant Program. Our program sets the industry standard in specialized care for patients experiencing heart failure, either from heart diseases such as cardiomyopathy or from more emergent causes. Recertified by The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Ventricular Assist Device (VAD), RWJUH has performed more than 200 heart transplants. Our board-certified cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons are highly skilled in implanting ventricular assist devices (VADs) and we are one of only two hospitals in New Jersey to offer this technology. When you have a serious problem with your heart and lungs, our multidisciplinary team of ECMO experts will care and support you through it.
  • Arrhythmia Center. The Arrhythmia Center is a hub for diagnosing and treating a variety of heart rhythm disorders and abnormalities through proven techniques and technologies such as Holster monitoring, catheters, pacemakers, and medications.
  • Cardiac Amyloidosis and Cardiomyopathy Program. Amyloidosis is a rare condition caused by an abnormal protein that accumulates in organs, like the heart, kidneys, nerves or liver. This program at RWJUH provides extensive inpatient and outpatient clinical services to adults with cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle) and heart failure. We offer comprehensive and compassionate care to ensure the best possible outcomes from diagnosis to innovative medical and device-based treatments.
  • Cardiac Diagnostic Testing. At Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, we offer our patients the most advanced technologies and techniques to detect a variety of cardiovascular conditions and thoracic disorders. These include imaging tests such as angiograms, echocardiograms, cardiac MRI and other procedures.
  • CardioMEMS Cardiac Monitoring Program. This program uses the CardioMEMS Heart Failure (HF) System, a tiny wireless monitoring sensor implanted in the pulmonary artery, to directly measure blood pressure and collect data about the heart rate. Patients can transmit this data from home to their healthcare providers, so their providers can manage medications effectively to stabilize the patient's blood pressure.
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), our outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program offers medically-supervised lifestyle and exercise guidance to aid our patients in taking an active role in their ongoing heart health.
  • Cardiac Surgery. Performing over 1,000 cardiothoracic surgical procedures per year, the multidisciplinary cardiothoracic team at RWJUH is advanced in diagnosing and treating all cardiac valve syndromes and disorders. We uphold the safest practices, as the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services’ annual report attests. Areas of expertise include removal of cardiac tumors, repair of diseased valves, complex coronary revascularization, and more.
  • Cardio-Oncology Program. In collaboration with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, we offer one of the few Cardio-Oncology programs in the region. Our program educates patients on making proactive steps to manage their health while we detect, monitor, and treat cardiac conditions throughout their survivorship plan. By utilizing advanced imaging, electrophysiology, and laboratory evaluations, we foster improved outcomes.
  • Center for Innovation. The Center for Innovation brings together experts in cardiovascular sciences, imaging and engineering to collaborate in the development, translation and clinical implementation of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). It aims to drive the adoption of innovative digital health solutions and diagnostic tools to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in the community.
  • Heart Disease in Women. The Heart Disease in Women Program at RWJUH combines an unparalleled level of expertise comprising a full range of diagnostic, treatment, and support services for our female patients.
  • Heart Rhythm Disorders Program. Delivering innovative, multispecialty care for patients with irregular heart rhythms, heart palpitations, and rapid heartbeats is our goal. From evaluation to treatment, our unique program delivers the best possible outcomes for every patient – with compassion and care.
  • Structural Heart Disease Program. Structural Heart Disease involves problematic tissues or valves in the heart and can be congenital (from birth) or develop later in life. Our program provides patients who suffer from complex valvular and/or structural heart disease with inventive, multi-specialty care. We are experienced in, and able to provide traditional open-heart procedures, as well as less-invasive procedures whenever possible. Procedures include:
  • Thoracic Surgery Program. The medical team at RWJUH uses the latest advancement and treatment options for thoracic disorders, which are related to the chest, lung, esophagus, trachea, pleura (lining of the chest), and mediastinum (middle section of the chest). Our high-volume hospital specializes in thoracic surgery and is staffed with nationally-recognized thoracic specialists who are versed in the most advanced surgical procedures, including minimally-invasive techniques.
  • Vascular Care. Vascular health is crucial to overall health. Vascular surgery can help patients suffering from narrowed arteries to keep blood flowing through their bodies. Our comprehensive vascular surgery program treats patients with disorders of the arteries, blood vessels, capillaries, and lymphatic system. Our team of surgeons and medical professionals is highly qualified in treating patients with vascular conditions with the latest in medical advancements and treatment options.

Multidisciplinary Teams Provide Comprehensive Care

Our multidisciplinary teams of cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, cardiac intensivists, ECMO team, cardiac advanced practice providers, cardiothoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons, pulmonologists, cardiac anesthesiologists and echocardiographers are complemented by our dedicated team of nurses, technicians and pharmacists. Providing compassionate, leading-edge and critical care to patients, our highly certified and caring registered nurse coordinators, practitioners, social workers, and pharmacists facilitate education, treatment and follow-up throughout your medical journey.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, a facility of RWJBarnabas Health, achieves the highest standards in heart, vascular and thoracic research, prevention and education in the nation. Our multidisciplinary teams provide our patients and their families with unparalleled treatment options for the Central New Jersey region and beyond.

Advanced Technologies and Procedures Close to Home

RWJUH offers innovative, state-of-the art care using the latest surgical and implantable technologies. Minimally invasive procedures can get you back on your feet faster, with fewer side effects than traditional open-heart surgery.

  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment. The specialized cardiopulmonary bypass system is used when a patient’s heart or lungs are too sick to continue supporting a patient’s life and all other treatments that could help have been attempted.
  • Minimally invasive robotic surgery for mitral valve. Now offered by RWJUH, this exciting technology uses a highly precise da Vinci surgical robot to assist surgeons in the treatment of mitral valve disease. This method has the benefit of reduced risk of infection, shorter hospital stays, and overall better clinical outcomes.
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). This procedure was designed to treat patients with a failing aortic heart valve with a less-invasive alternative to open-heart surgery. RWJUH performs more TAVR surgeries than any other healthcare provider in New Jersey.

To meet with one of our heart, vascular and thoracic specialists, please request an appointment today.

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Patient Stories

  • “I have significantly reduced my stress,” Hart said. “When you go through something like this, it changes how you see the world. I purposefully don’t get stressed about the things that I used to.”

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  • “The Impella 5.5 was a life-saving device for me,” Keith added. “When I went into the hospital I did not know if or how I was going to have the opportunity to receive a heart. The Impella 5.5 made that possible for me.”

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  • "I can’t say enough about the RWJBarnabas Health nursing teams. They work hard, are caring and compassionate and I appreciated them through this entire process."

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