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John R. Garrett, MD, FACS and John W. Rhee, MD, FACS
John R. Garrett, MD, FACS, Chief of Cardiac, Vascular & Thoracic Surgery and his partner, John W. Rhee, MD, FACS.

  • Virginia Hospital Center was the first hospital in Northern Virginia to offer the new minimally invasive Convergent Maze procedure for patients with advanced Afib symptoms who have not responded to standard treatments.
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  • Our TAVR Program offers a coordinated approach to an alternative procedure for patients who cannot undergo open heart surgery. Read more
Heart Services

Cardiac, Vascular & Thoracic Surgery

Surgical skill, quality of care and commitment to patient education are hallmarks of cardiac, vascular and thoracic surgery at Virginia Hospital Center. Patients being treated for diseases of the heart, lungs, coronary arteries and veins, and chest cavity can take comfort in the experience and compassion of our surgeons and staff. To learn more about specific surgical services, medical staff and patient information, please click on the links below to expand or collapse.

Cardiac Surgery

Our Cardiac Surgery Program consistently surpasses regional and national benchmarks for mortality, infection and other complications, which are key indicators of top quality care.

From coronary bypass surgery to heart valve repair and replacement, repair of blood vessel defects, and correction of congenital heart defects, cardiac surgeons can perform virtually any type of adult cardiovascular surgery with outstanding results. This doesn't happen by accident. Our nurses and doctors are committed to providing the best possible care.

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Common cardiac surgery procedures include but are not limited to:

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG)
  • Valve Replacement / Repair
  • Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
  • Mitral Valve Replacement
  • Mitral Valve Repair
  • Tricuspid Valve Repair
  • Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection Repair

Other cardiac surgeries include:

  • MAZE
  • Pacemakers
  • Pericardiectomy
  • ASD Repair
  • VSD Repair
  • Pericardial Window Repair

Vascular Surgery

Vascular surgery is performed to correct problems and diseases of the arteries or veins. Vascular surgeons at Virginia Hospital Center are trained in open vascular and endovascular techniques. Both catheter-based and open surgical treatments are offered based on individual medical needs.

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This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Carotid endarectomies
  • Abdominal aneurysm repair via open surgery and via minimally-invasive surgery with endostent
  • Peripheral vascular surgeries to include femoral-popliteal bypass

Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic Surgeons at Virginia Hospital Center are highly skilled in Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS). Using this technique, they are able to offer their patients minimally invasive lung cancer diagnosis and treatment that result in less scarring, reduced recovery times, less risk of infection, less blood loss, and reduction in stress response compared to the traditional open-chest approach (Thoracotomy).

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Virginia Hospital Center Thoracic Surgeons often use the VATS approach for:

  • Video-assisted (minimally invasive) thoracoscopy for lung biopsy, lobectomy and pneumonectomy
  • Thoracotomy for lobectomy and pneumonectomy

Thoracic surgeons at Virginia Hospital Center are able to repair aneurysms within the chest through minimally invasive procedures or as necessary through the open-chest approach (Thoracotomy).

Meet Our Team

  • Cardiac, Vascular & Thoracic Surgeons
    “Having two surgeons of the caliber of Dr. Garrett and Dr. Rhee operating solely at Virginia Hospital Center translates to more efficient care, better health outcomes and an outstanding experience for our cardiac surgery patients.” — James B. Cole, President and Chief Executive Officer.

  • Physician Assistant
    The Physician Assistant (PA) for Cardiac, Vascular & Thoracic Surgery works closely with the surgeon and other physicians on a daily basis. Under the surgeon’s supervision, the PA manages and coordinates both inpatient and outpatient care. Responsibilities include seeing office and hospital consults, pre-operative teaching, ordering tests and interpreting results, and managing post-operative care.

  • Clinic Administrator
    The Clinic Administrators work directly for the Chief of Cardiac, Vascular & Thoracic Surgery. Responsibilities include scheduling surgeries, office consultations, and outpatient diagnostic and pre-operative testing.

  • Cardiovascular Clinicians
    The CV Clinician for Cardiac, Vascular & Thoracic Surgery functions in a physician-extending role by directing and coordinating the care of the CVT patient using the protocols and standards which have been developed to direct the management of patient care. All clinical activities are performed in collaboration with the CVT surgeon.

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Patient Success Stories

“I was on a call in Woodbridge. I was about to hook up the chains and then I passed out.” — Taylor Robertson.

“Dr. Rhee is a genius because he was able to do my surgery through a small incision. He is my hero.” — Heather Reitze.

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Contact Info
Why Cardiologists Choose Virginia Hospital Center

When surgeons go between multiple hospitals for surgery, the continuity of patient care can be impacted, scheduling becomes complex, and at times, patients meet their surgeon for the first time on the day of surgery.

  • At Virginia Hospital Center, the collective experience and longevity of the cardiac surgery team produces quality surgical outcomes that consistently exceed national averages. Surgical scheduling is done with ease and patients meet one-on-one with the cardiac surgeon before surgery is even scheduled.
  • Dr. Garrett and Dr. Rhee are located in an office inside the Hospital that is steps away from the Cardiac Unit, not in a separate office building miles away from the Hospital. This close proximity to the patient enables the surgeon to provide continual oversight and management before, during and after surgery. This proven approach results in top quality, greater efficiency and high satisfaction for both patients and referring physicians.

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