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Heart Surgery


Dameron Hospital has partnered with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine to bring a new level of cardiac and cardiothoracic treatment to residents in Stockton and San Joaquin County by leveraging the brightest minds in medicine with state-of-the-art technology and advanced surgical techniques. This innovative program offers:

  • Access to breakthrough clinical care and research programs.
  • Minimally invasive cardiac and cardiothoracic surgeries, which result in less pain and shorter recovery times.
  • Fewer physical restrictions after surgery (e.g., patients can drive and lift objects during the recovery process).


Cardiothoracic Surgery

Cardiothoracic surgery pertains to all organs in the thorax, such as the heart, lung, esophagus and other chest organs. Common cardiothoracic procedures include:

  • Advanced coronary grafting techniques
    (i.e., coronary artery bypass grafting or CABGs)
  • Surgery for coronary artery disease
  • Tumor removal
  • Arrhythmia surgery
  • Aortic valve repair and replacement
  • Ventricular Remodeling
  • Mitral valve repair and replacement (including complex repairs)
  • Structural heart defect repair
  • Lung surgery for cancer

Our Physicians

Maria Currie, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Dameron Hospital; Clinical Instructor, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Fellow: Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada 

Medical Education:
Dalhousie University Medical School, Halifax, NS, Canada

Residency:
Cardiac Surgery, Western University, London, ON, Canada

Ph.D.:
Biomedical Engineering (Augmented reality & haptics for cardiac valve surgery), Western University, London, ON, Canada

Programs/Certifications: 
HeartWare, HeartMate II, and HeartMate III LVAD training programs in Dallas, Cleveland Clinic, & Stanford University, respectively; Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategic Program in Vascular Research

Clinical Focus:
 Cardiothoracic surgery, heart and lung transplantation, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), and Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD)

Billie-Jean Martin, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Dameron Hospital; Clinical Instructor, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Fellow: University of Alberta- Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery and the University of California San Francisco (Congenital Cardiac Surgery)

Medical Education: University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada (BSc Honors Biology) and the University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada (MD)

Residency: University of Calgary (CT Surgery) and Dalhousie University (CT Surgery)

Ph.D.: University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada (Cardiorespiratory Sciences)

Programs/Certifications: Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Cardiac Surgery); Clinician Investigator, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; and Certificate in Patient Safety and Quality

Clinical Focus:
Coronary revascularization, valve replacement and repair, endocarditis, temporary mechanical support, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), cardiac rehabilitation, team-based care, outcomes research, teaching, and quality assessment and improvement  

Yasuhiro Shudo, MD, PhD

Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Dameron Hospital; Clinical Instructor, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Fellow: Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Medical Education: Osaka University Medical School, Japan (MD)

Residency: Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine Suita, Osaka, Japan, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery

Ph.D.: Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan

Programs/Certifications: Fluoroscopy, X-ray Supervisor and Operator; Board-Certified Cardiovascular Surgeon, Japan

Clinical Focus: Cardiovascular surgery, heart failure, heart and lung transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, and Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

Amelia Claire Watkins, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Dameron Hospital; Clinical Instructor, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Fellow: Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Medical Education: University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis, TN; University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD (Masters of Clinical Research)

Residency: University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD (CT Surgery)

Programs/Certifications: American Board of Thoracic Surgery; Fluoroscopy License

Clinical Focus: Endovascular aortic repair, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), heart valve surgery, Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), aortic aneurysm and dissection repair, clinical research in cardiac surgery, device development for cardiac surgery, and thoracic and cardiac surgery


Stanford Cardiac Surgery at Dameron Hospital


Coronary Artery Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary artery disease is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S. In this case, certain risk factors, such as smoking, high cholesterol, and diabetes, can cause plaque to build up inside the coronary arteries, preventing oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart.


If left untreated, the plaque can harden and rupture, creating blood clots that can limit blood flow and trigger angina, or chest discomfort. This pain typically starts in the chest and can move to other locations in the body, like the arms, jaw, and back. When blood flow is cut off from the heart for an extended period, it can lead to heart attack, stroke and other serious health complications.

Symptoms of coronary artery disease

You may be at risk of developing heart and lung disease if you exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Discomfort in the chest, arms, back, jaw and/or neck.
  • Nausea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fatigue.

If any of these symptoms persist and you think you may have a medical emergency, please call your doctor, go to the Emergency Department or call 911 immediately.

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