Heart & Vascular Institute
Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute has a singular focus on improving the heart health of our community. Whether you have heart disease, need heart surgery, or are looking for ways to take better care of your heart, we can help.
Porter Adventist Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute is a nationally recognized and award-winning cardiac care program offering patients advanced heart and vascular treatments, state-of-the-art technology and the expertise of experienced cardiac specialists. By combining this high level of expertise, experience and advanced technology, the Porter Heart and Vascular Institute delivers excellent patient outcomes when it matters most.
Our expert team of board-certified cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and staff has the experience and advanced technology and treatment options you need to keep your heart pumping strong.
Porter Adventist Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute serves as a Denver-based cardiovascular treatment hub for advanced heart and vascular care. In addition to Porter's overwhelming experience, expertise and skill in treating cardiovascular conditions, our state-of-the-art technologies also allow our team to deliver excellent patient outcomes.
Porter Adventist Hospital endovascular hybrid-operating suite offers patients throughout Denver and Colorado access to leading edge surgical technology and life-saving procedures.
Porter Heart and Vascular Institute endovascular procedure suite is designed to allow our vascular surgeons the ability to perform traditional open and minimally invasive vascular surgeries simultaneously. Additionally, the unique capabilities of the suite leverage the expertise of our multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses and technologists to perform comprehensive procedures specifically tailored to vascular and cardiothoracic patients. The hybrid approach used in the endovascular procedure suite, which combines minimally invasive endovascular procedures with open surgical methods, provides cardiac patients with:
- Potentially shorter hospital stays
- Faster recovery times
- Less cosmetic damage and scarring
- Typically better patient outcomes
Studies have found that a thin band of muscle surrounding the pulmonary veins, may stimulate extra electrical signals that can cause atrial fibrillation. To help correct this problem, doctors may recommend performing a pulmonary vein isolation. This treatment destroys the small area of tissue by utilizing radio-frequency energy. The results cause scar tissue to form around the pulmonary vein, in turn preventing the extra electrical signals from reaching the left atrium thereby stopping the atrial fibrillation.
Porter Adventist Hospital is the only program in the region to have the TactiCathTM Quartz Ablation Catheter. This unique technology helps reduce procedure time for pulmonary vein (PV) isolation and has a positive impact on long-term patient outcomes. By using its pressure sensor capability, the catheter creates precision throughout the procedure which allows for lower atrial fibrillation re-occurrence rates and less tissue lesions.
Porter Heart and Vascular Institute is equipped with Coronary Computed Tomography Angiogram (Coronary CTA or 64-slice CT) imaging technology, which is available to assess important heart health information in patients who may not suspect they have heart disease. Using the 64-slice CT, doctors can prescribe testing for individuals who have risk factors for heart disease such as:
- Family history
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Show no obvious signs of coronary artery disease like shortness of breath or easy fatigue
- Unusual heart-related symptoms or an inconclusive stress test but have a low-risk profile for heart disease
Until recently, these at-risk patients may have only been considered for heart scans such as calcium scoring test or electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT), which can only measure the amount of hard plaque in the blood vessel, not the soft plaque in the vessel wall.
In a matter of seconds, the cardiac 64-slice CT scanner takes multiple x-rays of the heart and its arteries, giving doctors a picture of the heart that previously had been available through an invasive procedure involving a catheter. Not only can the 3-D images tell doctors if someone has heart disease, but they can also reveal the level of heart damage, even in its earliest stages. This level of detail provides patients and their doctors with strong indicators of how to manage their heart health to reduce the risk of serious heart disease in the future.
ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) is a treatment used for patients with life-threatening heart and/or lung problems. The procedure draws the patient’s blood from a large vein in the body, and passes it through a machine that adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide. Once the process is completed, the blood is then returned to the patient’s body through their circulatory system. This process substitutes the functions of the heart (for pumping) and lungs (adding oxygen to and removing carbon dioxide). ECMO provides long-term support for breathing and heart function after standard treatments have failed. It is typically a short-term treatment for patients in respiratory failure resulting from conditions such as an infection, pneumonia, trauma, or smoke inhalation.
Porter Adventist Hospital is a regional leader in cardiovascular diagnostic technology and imaging procedures. Our board-certified cardiologists and radiologists are known throughout Denver and Colorado for their expertise and ability to diagnose heart disease and other medical conditions.
Using state-of-the-art technology and the expertise of a comprehensive cardiovascular treatment team, the Portes Heart and Vascular Institute frequently performs numerous diagnostic procedures and tests, including the following:
- Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Computed Tomography (CT) Calcium Score
- Coronary Computed Tomography Angiogram (CTA)
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Carotid Intima-media Thickness (IMT)
- Lipid or Advanced Lipid Testing
- Stress Testing
Chest Pain Center
Porter's Heart and Vascular Institute serves people throughout Denver who experience chest pain and heart attack with streamlined, rapid response cardiac treatment.
To save lives in a cardiac emergency, speed in assessing, diagnosing and treating the heart is essential. For this reason, when a patient arrives in Porter’s emergency room with chest pain symptoms, a cardiac-specific protocol is followed by EMS while emergency nurses and doctors begin testing, evaluation, and if necessary, immediate transfer to Porter’s heart advanced catheterization lab.
Accredited Chest Pain Center
The Porter Heart and Vascular Institute is an accredited Chest Pain Center that meets a strict set of criteria aimed at:
- Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment
- Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved
- Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital
Cardiac Short Stay Unit
Porter Adventist Hospital Emergency Department features a four-bed unit dedicated solely to providing immediate care and shorter hospital stays for lower risk chest pain patients. The cardiac short stay unit allows patients with low-risk chest pain to be cared for, tested and monitored within the Emergency Department rather than being admitted to the hospital.
For low-risk chest pain patients, the cardiac short stay unit provides needed cardiac care without the expense, diagnostic exposure or considerations of a full hospital stay.
Cardiac catheterization lab
Heart catheterization is a low-risk, 30 to 60-minute procedure used to diagnose or treat cardiovascular disease performed regularly at Porter Adventist Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute.
Some of the cardiovascular and heart conditions that heart catheterization can identify and potentially treat are:
- Congenital Heart Disease
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Heart Valve Problems
Coronary Artery Treatment
The heart catheterization and interventional lab performs lifesaving procedures designed to open clogged arteries. Through minimally invasive intervention, our team can correct coronary artery blockages with balloon angioplasty and coronary artery stenting, including:
- Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty
- Coronary Artery Stenting
- Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)
Atrial fibrillation treatment
The electrophysiology lab at Porter Adventist Hospital provides cardiologists and other heart specialists with precise information about heart rhythm problems through a variety of minimally invasive treatments and tests. As the first hospital in Colorado to be certified for atrial fibrillation procedures, the Porter Heart and Vascular Institute provides heart and vascular care that is above and beyond the level of care associated with a neighborhood hospital.
Traditionally, the first-line treatment for A-fib is medication, such as beta-blockers orantiarrhythmic drugs. The next step is catheter-based ablation, a nonsurgical procedure. The process delivers radiofrequency energy into the heart to destroy tissue that’s triggering irregular rhythms. Catheter ablation has a 60 to 80 percent success rate in patients without heart abnormalities who have had A-fib for less than two years. Success rates drop if a patient has had A-fib continuously for more than two years. That option is the hybrid surgical/catheter ablation technique now offered at Porter Adventist Hospital.
What is it?
Hybrid ablation involves two procedures separated by six to 12 weeks. First, a cardiothoracic surgeon performs ablation on the outside of the heart with a minimally invasive surgical procedure called a thoracoscopic maze. Then, about 12 weeks later, an electrophysiologist performs catheter ablation inside the heart.
Who is it for?
Ideal candidates for hybrid ablation are patients who:
- Have heart damage resulting from A-fib lasting longer than two years
- Have failed catheter ablation
What are the advantages?
Hybrid ablation treats A-fib from both the outside and the inside of the heart muscle. The modified maze surgery is performed through keyhole incisions made between the ribs on both sides, resulting in less blood loss, shorter recovery time, and lower risk of infection than the traditional, open-heart maze surgery.
The electrophysiology lab at Porter Adventist Hospital provides cardiologists and other heart specialists with precise information about heart rhythm problems through a variety of minimally invasive treatments and tests.
Porter Adventist Hospital electrophysiology lab can identify and treat irregular heart rhythms with:
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
- Cardiac ablation procedure
The WATCHMAN Device is a unique technology to the Rocky Mountain Region, used to reduce the risk of blood clots in the left atrial appendage of atrial fibrillation (Afib) patients. Most Afib patients are at high risk for strokes caused by these blood clots.
The WATCHMAN Device treats this by being permanently implanted in the left atrial appendage of the heart, to prevent blood clots from entering the bloodstream. The procedure is done by placing a delivery catheter, through a vein in the leg that reaches the heart. The physician then pushes the WATCHMAN Device through the delivery catheter where it opens up and is permanently implanted in left atrial appendage.
Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation, has traditionally been done utilizing fluoroscopy technology to direct catheter placement. Fluoroscopy is a type of medical imaging that poses radiation risks and exposure to the patient and electrophysiology (EP) lab staff, especially when used for an extensive period of time.
At Porter Adventist Hospital, our team performs cardiac ablations well under the national average for fluoroscopy/x-ray time. In fact, we’re the first hospital in Colorado to perform some of our Afib ablations without utilizing fluoroscopies at all.
Porter Adventist Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute is staffed by board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons who offer a full range of heart surgery procedures for patients throughout Denver and Colorado.
Our entire team of cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiac nurses and specialized medical technicians work together to provide patients with enhanced surgical outcomes by combining Porter Adventist Hospital's advanced cardiovascular treatment technologies with surgical expertise not readily found at other facilities in the region.
Cardiac surgeries we perform include:
- Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Surgery
- Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
- Cox-Maze Procedure for Atrial Fibrillation
- Heart Valve Repair & Replacement
- Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Surgery
- Robotic Assisted Cardiac Surgery
- Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Repair
- Aortic Valve Repair and Replacement Surgery
- Carotid Endarterectomy
- Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) Surgery
Porter Heart and Vascular Institute is one of the few programs in the region specializing in advanced vascular, hybrid approach and endovascular surgeries. Used to treat blood vessel conditions, the medical team at Porter's Heart and Vascular Institute has a dedicated focus on a full range of minimally invasive endovascular, vascular and hybrid procedures.
By using Porter Hospital's endovascular hybrid-operating suite, physicians across multiple specialties are able to work together simultaneously to treat patients in a unique, customized and highly beneficial manner. Porter Hospital's hybrid operating capability also allows our team to quickly transition from minimally invasive procedures to a more open and traditional approach when needed, providing patients better outcomes and faster recovery times.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair
- Aneurysm Repair
- Atherosclerosis Atherectomy & Endarterectomy
- Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA)
- Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter Insertion
- Transluminal Balloon & Stent Angioplasty
- Varicose Veins Surgery
Cardiac & pulmonary rehabilitation
Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute offers a nationally certified comprehensive medically supervised outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation program designed to help those who have had heart surgery, heart attack, stent placement, coronary artery bypass, valve replacement or repair, angioplasty, heart failure or chest pain (angina) become more heart-healthy while reducing the risk of future cardiac events.
- Nationally accredited through the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR)
- Individualized exercise program under the supervision of registered nurses, exercise physiologists and medical director
- Telemetry monitoring heart rate/rhythm, blood pressure response and pulse oximetry measuring oxygen saturation
- An educational component to help you learn more about your heart condition, heart healthy eating, smoking cessation, risk factors and decreasing risks , medications, exercise guidelines, strength training, and managing stress and emotions
- Management of blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes
- Communication with your physicians and other healthcare providers about your progress following your cardiac event
Only you can make the lifestyle changes necessary to make your life healthier. Your treatment or procedure in the hospital was just the beginning of your journey. Now is the time to develop new habits to stay healthy. Cardiac rehabilitation can help you feel better and gain the confidence to get back to doing what you enjoy. According to the American Heart Association, comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation programs have been shown to reduce rehospitalization rates, and increase the rates of return to work and normal activities. Our cardiac rehabilitation team will work with you in reaching your health goals.
Porter Hospital's Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) program is a medically supervised program designed for patients who experience lung problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and interstitial lung disease.
- Individualized exercise program under the supervision of registered nurses, exercise physiologists, respiratory therapists and medical director.
- Exercise will help to improve your endurance and muscle strength, so you’re better able to carry out daily activities.
- Telemetry monitoring heart rate/rhythm, blood pressure response and pulse oximetry measuring oxygen saturation.
- Individualized personal and program goals are established with each patient upon entry into the program which includes monitored progressive exercise, behavior change assistance, psychosocial referral and counseling.
- An educational component to help you learn more about your lung condition, nutrition, understanding oxygen therapy, breathing retraining, strategies for managing breathing problems, smoking cessation, medications, exercise guidelines, strength training, and managing stress and emotions.
- System assessment and knowledge about when to seek medical treatment.
- Communication with your physicians and other healthcare providers about your progress in the program.
The Pulmonary Rehabilitation team will help you to improve your quality of life. Although PR can’t cure your lung disease, it can be of great benefit and you may notice improved breathing effort and less breathing problems.
- Early detection of cardiac and vascular disease
- Emergency care for heart attack and chest pain
- Heart catheterization
- Cardiac diagnostics
- Advanced heart surgery
- Endovascular procedures
- Cardiac rehabilitation