New Cardiovascular Surgery Repairs Damaged Tissues in Patients’ Hearts

Dr. Marc Gerdisch pic
Dr. Marc Gerdisch

A senior partner with Cardiac Surgery Associates, Dr. Marc Gerdisch is an award-winning surgeon who has pioneered numerous groundbreaking heart surgeries. Named among America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connelly from 2009 to 2015, Dr. Marc Gerdisch was the first doctor in the world to use Extracellular Matrix, a patch created from pig intestines, to reconstruct damaged tissues in patients such as Sherry Tucker.

Tucker has lived with a defect in her heart’s aortic valve. An initial surgery to implant an artificial replacement valve inside her heart did not rectify her condition.

Tucker was one of the first patients to have Extracellular Matrix corrective heart surgery. Since having it, she has gone back to riding her bike every day without struggling with shortness of breath.

The ground-breaking use of Extracellular Matrix is set to change the way heart repairs are performed. The strong and durable material allows the body to naturally regenerate cells and to repair damaged tissue, without having to take anti-rejection drugs, deal with scar tissue, or undergo repeat surgeries.


Becoming a Castle Connolly-Recognized Top Doctor

Castle Connolly pic
Castle Connolly

Dr. Marc Gerdisch, a renowned cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon in Indianapolis, strives to provide excellent, personalized care for his patients at Cardiac Surgery Associates. For the last seven years, Dr. Marc Gerdisch has been formally recognized by Castle Connolly as one of America’s Top Doctors.

For those who are looking for the best doctors in their region and across the nation, Castle Connolly has become a trusted source of information. Each year, the organization publishes its Top Doctors series, which identifies physicians who have outstanding reputations within their chosen specialties.

In order to be included on a Castle Connolly list, a doctor must be nominated by a peer within the medical community. Each nomination is subjected to a rigorous approval process that includes a full review of the candidate’s credentials. Following this review, the editors, research staff, and officers at Castle Connolly determine a whether a candidate will be named a Top Doctor and, if so, whether he or she will appear on a regional list or on the even more prestigious national list.

The Sycamore School Serves Gifted Students in Indiana

Sycamore School  pic
Sycamore School

Along with responsibilities as chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Franciscan Health Indianapolis, Dr. Marc Gerdisch helps lead Cardiac Surgery Associates as a senior partner. A member of several professional organizations, Dr. Marc Gerdisch has also served on the Board of Directors of the Sycamore School in Indianapolis.

The Sycamore School serves gifted students in preschool through eighth grade. The school provides an accelerated education that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of children who score within the top 2 percent on intelligence tests. Classes, curriculum, and activities are all designed to meet the unique academic, emotional, and social needs of these high-performing students.

The only school of its kind in Indiana, the Sycamore School aims to help students achieve greater success in an environment where they can be themselves and are not singled out for being different. Teachers approach lessons in a method that is more abstract, complex, and broad than what is found in typical schools. This type of high-level thinking, along with flexible grouping strategies and enriching learning opportunities, allows gifted students to grow and develop in their own unique way.

Understanding Mitral Valve Prolapse and Associated Heart Risks

Dr. Marc Gerdisch pic
Dr. Marc Gerdisch

Indianapolis physician Dr. Marc Gerdisch has a well-established reputation for thoracic and cardiovascular surgery and holds leadership responsibilities at Franciscan Health. Dr. Marc Gerdisch has extensive experience in procedures involving mitral and tricuspid valve reconstruction and presented on the subject at the first annual Mitral Conclave in New York in 2011.

Also known as the bicuspid valve, the dual-flap mitral valve is one of the atrioventricular valves that help control the flow of blood from the heart. One common issue associated with the valve is mitral valve prolapse (MVP), which involves the two valve flaps bulging upward, rather than working evenly and smoothly together. This lets a small amount of blood back in through the flap, which can result in heart murmur.

Though the condition is typically harmless and may be symptom free, it can cause symptoms such as chest discomfort, rapid heartbeat, and fatigue. In cases where heart murmur is detected, echocardiograms are recommended as a way of assessing the amount of leaking blood and evaluating the function of the valve cusps. In severe cases, MVP may impact heart function and cause left ventricle enlargement, with abnormal heartbeat a result. This may lead to blood clot formation, which can in turn result in life-threatening strokes.

An Innovative Tissue-Engineered Regenerative Valve Implant Procedure

CorMatrix ECM Tricuspid Valve pic
CorMatrix ECM Tricuspid Valve

Serving the Indianapolis community as Franciscan Health’s chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, Dr. Marc Gerdisch, emphasizes a personalized approach to patient care. Innovation focused, Dr. Marc Gerdisch has pioneered a number of therapies and was the first worldwide to perform a tissue engineered regenerative CorMatrix ECM Tricuspid Valve implantation, as part of a phase I clinical device trial.

The unique CorMatrix valve is unstented and flexible, and is designed to enable the cells of the patient to eventually infiltrate and remodel it, such that the tricuspid valve fully functions again. With the implanted valve a part of the individual’s own tissue, there is no foreign body left behind. An added benefit is that no anticoagulation therapies, such as those associated with mechanical valve replacements, are required over the long term.

Dr. Gerdisch described the procedure he performed on a 44-year-old man as being successful, with the patient discharged home in healthy condition and back to work in construction. This contrasted with the man’s state when he entered the emergency room at Franciscan Health with an infected tricuspid valve that no longer functioned and was sending infected debris into the lungs. Unrepairable, the valve required immediate replacement. Dr. Gerdisch noted that the replacement valve appeared on echocardiogram scans as extremely similar to a normally functioning valve.