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Cardiac Surgery

Betty on the mayoral campaign trail

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Embracing Robotic Solutions for the Most Complex Cases

Surgeons at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai work tirelessly to increase the variety of procedures available to patients as well as the array of patients eligible for less invasive techniques.

Betty on the mayoral campaign trail

Betty on the mayoral campaign trail


Mitral Valve

  • Among the most experienced in the world in robotically assisted mitral valve repair, having performed almost all mitral repairs robotically since 2006
  • Mitral repair rates >99.5% and mortality of <0.3%, surpassing national benchmarks
  • Recipient of the Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award from the American Heart Association for superior outcomes and guideline-concordant mitral repair
  • Perform more mitral repairs than any other program in California, with the highest quality rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Aortic Valve

  • Decades of experience in Ross procedures, with zero early mortality
  • Deep expertise in aortic aneurysms, valve-sparing root replacement and repair
  • Home to the largest structural heart program in the U.S., enabling a thorough, collaborative exploration of every option for every patient—no matter how high-risk the case


  • Unique expertise in heart and lung transplant, structural heart, robotic cardiac surgery, aortic surgery and mitral repair
  • Virtual consultations and expert second opinions for patients around the world

Trailblazing Trials

The surgery and structural heart teams at Cedars-Sinai lead the first-in-human transcatheter mitral valve replacement study (MISCEND) and the NIH-sponsored PRIMARY trial of surgical vs. transcatheter mitral repair for degenerative mitral regurgitation.

robotic mitral valve repairs completed to date

repair success rate

No. 1
Mitral Valve Repair Center in the western U.S

"With the pace I’m keeping, I feel like I’m already the mayor—and I have the stamina to do that. I don’t feel fatigued. I’m so glad I’m on the other side of this surgery and that I didn’t have my chest cavity opened up."

Betty Ward-Cooper
Robotic mitral valve repair patient
Monroe, Louisiana

the case

After consulting with a regional specialist, Betty Ward-Cooper (74) was disappointed to hear she should expect open-heart surgery for her symptomatic mitral valve regurgitation. She began researching the latest techniques in mitral valve repair and consulted the Smidt Heart Institute’s surgeons for their expertise in minimally invasive solutions.

the care

Relieved her case could be managed with smaller incisions using robotically assisted surgery, and without a sternotomy, Betty opted to travel across the country to proceed with her care. Her mitral valve repair went smoothly, and she returned home to Louisiana a week after surgery.

the conclusion

Betty now exercises without breathlessness and has renewed energy from improved sleep. She enjoys an active retirement as a member of the school board and president of the Ouachita Parish Public Library System. She is currently campaigning to be the mayor of Monroe.