Baptist Health Surgeon Offering New Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery; Procedure is First of its Kind in State

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Baptist Health’s newest cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Bryan Barrus, is utilizing a new minimally invasive procedure he helped develop to implant HeartMate III devices in advanced heart failure patients. Baptist Health Heart Failure and Transplant Institute is the first in the state to perform this innovative procedure which offers better outcomes and a quicker recovery.

Dr. Bryan Barrus
Dr. Bryan Barrus

“Instead of implanting HeartMate pumps through a traditional sternotomy, we are now going in between the ribs – one incision on the left side and one on the right side to connect to the heart and aorta,” Dr. Barrus said of the technique.

Baptist Health first introduced the HeartMate to Arkansas in 1999. Now in its third generation, the HeartMate III  has the ability to assist the performance of the left side of the heart.Implanting a HeartMate III using this new procedure decreases the length of stay between 30 to 50 percent and decreases the chances of death. It also speeds up recovery time from six months to around two months.

“To see patients go home in as little as four days, it’s incredible,” Dr. Barrus said.

Dr. Barrus recently transferred to Baptist Health from University of Rochester Medical Center/Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where he helped develop this technique. He is one of the leading surgeons in the U.S. performing this minimally invasive procedure.

A native of Los Alamos, New Mexico, Dr. Barrus received his medical degree from Penn State College of Medicine and completed orthopaedic and cardiothoracic residency training at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. He is board-certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

“I have been trained on and developed less invasive techniques that decrease trauma and accelerate recovery,” Dr. Barrus said. “I am involved in regional, national and international research so I can bring the best care and latest knowledge to my patients.”

Baptist Health Heart Failure and Transplant Institute offers a seamless care path for advanced heart failure patients who eventually require advanced heart failure therapies – from management to ventricular assist device to transplantation. Recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for adult heart transplants by Blue Cross Blue Shield, it is also one of the most comprehensive heart transplant centers in the country.

For more information about Dr. Barrus and this innovative procedure, visit or call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST.


About Baptist Health

For 100 years, Baptist Health has delivered All Our Best in health care through Christian compassion and innovative services. Baptist Health is Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 250 points of access that include 11 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community; over 100 primary and specialty care clinics; a college with studies in nursing and allied health; a graduate residency program; and access to virtual care anytime, anywhere. It is also the largest private not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas, providing care through the support of approximately 11,000 employees, groundbreaking treatments, renowned physicians and community outreach programs. For more information about Baptist Health, visit, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or download the myBaptistHealth app. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.