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Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital


Cardiac Care is Our Specialty at Truman VA

A glance inside the operating room during open heart surgery.

A glance inside the operating room during open heart surgery.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

At Truman VA, cardiac care is our specialty. Veterans from across Missouri, Kansas and Illinois are referred to our medical center for a wide range of cardiac and general thoracic surgery. 

We have served as a tertiary referral center for open heart procedures since the late 1970s.  Currently we have five highly skilled board certified, cardiothoracic surgeons:

  • Richard Schmaltz, MD
  • Normand Caron, MD
  • John Markley, MD
  • Andrew Rich, MD
  • Ajit Tharakan, MD

Our program is under the direction of Richard A. Schmaltz, MD, who has led the team since 1985. We provide full service with our physician assistants, intensive care unit and modern, well-equipped operating rooms.

Cardiac surgeries last anywhere from four to six hours; thoracic surgeries last from two to four hours.  Following surgery, the patient’s first 24-72 hours will be spent in the intensive care unit.  Once patients are stable, they are transferred to the fourth floor step down unit.  Patient stays are dependent on the actual procedure performed.  However, patients should plan to be in the medical center one to two weeks.   

In order to better serve our patients, we are excited about our new operating room replacement/renovation project that is currently underway.  Once completed, we’ll have state-of-the-art, appropriately sized operating suites for our Veterans.  Check the latest construction update for this project’s progress.


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