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Dr. Karl Limmer is a cardiothoracic surgeon at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego. Courtesy photo
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Sharp Memorial Hospital offers advanced treatments for cardiac diseases

Taking care of your heart is vital to your overall health. 

At Sharp Memorial Hospital, an expert team of cardiologists, cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgeons, electrophysiologists, and nurse practitioners provides San Diegans with comprehensive heart and vascular care. 

One expert, Karl Limmer, MD, is passionate about expanding minimally invasive options to treat cardiac diseases, including irregular heartbeats and mitral valve disease. 

Innovative procedures to treat irregular heartbeats

Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, is a common and serious heart condition contributing to about 158,000 annual deaths in the U.S.

An expert in advanced minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Limmer is experienced in procedures to treat irregular heartbeats caused by AFib, including the hybrid maze procedure. 

This two-stage technique combines surgery with catheter ablation performed by an electrophysiologist — both done through small incisions in the chest.

Due to the highly specialized nature of this procedure, it is offered at only a handful of hospitals in California, including Sharp Memorial. 

The hybrid maze procedure can restore the normal heart rate in patients, stop congestive heart failure, help reduce or stop the use of heart medications, and dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life.

Minimally invasive robotic heart surgery

Mitral valve disease, the most common heart valve abnormality, impacts 5% to 10% of the U.S. population. 

This disease makes it harder for the heart to pump blood effectively, and can lead to heart failure and cardiac arrest.  

Dr. Limmer is one of the few cardiothoracic surgeons in San Diego performing minimally invasive, robotic-assisted mitral valve repair. 

He has seen firsthand the immense benefits of these procedures and is passionate about expanding minimally invasive options for patients.

“Heart surgery has contributed to improved patient outcomes, less pain and allows patients to return to activities quickly. With this technology, we can offer our patients all of the advantages of open heart surgery without opening the chest.”

In addition to minimally invasive procedures, Sharp Memorial offers many treatment options for cardiac diseases, including:

• Left atrial appendage closure devices (Watchman™ and Amulet™)

• Catheter ablation

• Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs)

• Heart transplant

• Pacemakers 

• Cardiovascular rehabilitation

• Clinical trials

Sharp has cardiology specialists across San Diego County focused on helping patients improve their heart health. 

To learn more, visit or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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