When it comes to innovative, leading-edge cardiac care, the Joel E. Smilow Heart Institute at Bridgeport Hospital has a reputation that can only be described as first rate.

The dedicated nurses, cardiologists and cardiac surgeons have delivered personalized care to thousands of people and have created an impressive history of heart firsts. This has resulted in Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health, being recognized nationally as a center for leading-edge cardiac care. In fact, the reputation of our physicians and cardiac program is so outstanding that doctors from all over the world come to us for cardiac training.

A History of Cardiovascular Firsts

Bridgeport Hospital surgeons performed the area's first open-heart surgery in the early 1960s, and we were the first institution in the state to perform balloon angioplasty, in 1981.

Other firsts include:

  • First and only pediatric cardiology program in Fairfield County
  • First implantable defibrillator for the treatment of sudden death in Fairfield County
  • First electrophysiology lab for the treatment of abnormal heart rhythms in Fairfield County
  • First use of coronary stents in Fairfield County
  • First accredited Chest Pain Center in Connecticut
  • First catheter-based (non-surgical) atrial fibrillation ablation in Fairfield County
  • First and only interventional cardiology training program in Fairfield County
  • First Mini-Maze minimally invasive surgery for atrial fibrillation in Fairfield County
  • First MRI-compatible pacemaker in Connecticut
  • First in New England to perform hybrid ablation for atrial fibrillation

All of these advances mean better care for you, our patient.

An Experienced Cardiac Team

Heart Institute physicians have the training and experience that inspire confidence. Our staff specializes in cardiovascular medicine, non-invasive diagnostic testing, cardiac catheterizations, electrophysiology, catheter procedures, cardiac surgery and the treatment of peripheral arterial disease. In addition to physicians trained at the very best universities and hospitals, the Heart Institute team includes registered nurses, cardiac rehabilitation specialists, technicians and sonographers, all with advanced training in cardiac care.

Physician assistants, care managers, dietitians, physical therapists, perfusionists and other staff round out the care offered. Knowing that each patient's personal situation and preferences allows the team to plan out an individualized program of care.