University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland

I'm Dr. Bartley Griffith, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. But we are making advances in prevention and treatment, enabling our patients to live longer, healthier, more productive lives.

At the University of Maryland Heart Center, we're focused on developing innovative treatments and rapidly bringing research advances to the bedside.

My colleague, Chief of Cardiology, Dr. Mandeep Mehra, and I believe patients benefit the most when talented cardiac surgeons and cardiologists work together.

For example, we were the first in the nation to develop a hybrid procedure -- a way to perform bypass surgery and angioplasty at the same time for patients who can benefit from both treatments for blocked arteries.

We were also national leaders in adapting robot-assisted technology to perform minimally invasive, multi-vessel heart bypass surgery. There is no large incision so patients recover much faster.

We are studying how to use a patient's own cells to grow new heart blood vessels. We are testing new medications and studying the genetic links to heart disease.

Our researchers have discovered that your genetic makeup affects how you respond to a specific medication. This opens the door to personalized treatments that work best for you.

We are also working in the new field of behavioral cardiology, studying the connection between depression, mental stress and heart disease. And we're conducting innovative studies on the prevention of coronary disease.

Many recent advances are enabling people with even the most complex heart problems to live longer, healthier lives. Continuing that progress is our goal at the University of Maryland Heart Center.

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