Porter Heart & Vascular Institute

Porter Adventist Hospital

Porter Adventist Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute
2525 S Downing St
Ste 140
Denver, Colorado 80210

Porter Heart & Vascular Institute

Porter Adventist Hospital

About Advanced Technology

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.

Some of the advanced cardiovascular treatment technologies available at Porter Adventist Hospital include:

  • Advanced endovascular hybrid-operating suite
  • Coronary Computed Tomography Angiogram - 64 Slice CT scanning 
  • Endovascular Hybrid-Operating Suite

    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 

    To learn more about Porter Hospital's endovascular hybrid-operating suite, contact us.

    Toll-free: 1-855-85-HEART (854-3278)

  • TactiCathTM Quartz Ablation Catheter

    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.

  • 64 Slice CT scanning

    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.

    To learn more about Porter Adventist Hospital Coronary CT, contact us

    Toll-free: 1-855-85-HEART (854-3278)

  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

    What is ECMO?
    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.

    Patient Story

    Meghan is a 19-year-old college student who was brought to the Porter Adventist Hospital Emergency Department by her college roommate. Meghan had been having nausea/vomiting and fevers of 105 degrees over several days. She had been seen in the Porter ED earlier that day and the night before for the same symptoms, but despite all efforts no clinical indications for admission were found. She had agreed that this was most likely flu related and went back to her dorm after her initial visit and receiving fluids and Tylenol. This time however Meghan’s condition had changed and she was not going home.

    Once again, her labs and tests were completed to see if we could find a source for the infection. While getting intravenous fluids for her dehydration and low blood pressure, she began having trouble breathing. The PAH ED team of nurses, technicians, respiratory therapists, ED physician and nurse practitioner acted quickly. A tube was placed in her airway so that a ventilator could oxygenate her lungs. The intensive care unit (ICU) Physician was consulted, but Meghan needed to be stabilized before she could be transported to the ICU. Intravenous central lines were placed and medications were administered to support her blood pressure and treat this unknown infection or virus.

    After around seven hours of lifesaving efforts in the ED, Meghan was stable enough to be transported to the ICU but her oxygenation and blood pressure quickly began to worsen. All known therapies were attempted with minimal success. Though her dad had received the initial call from the ED MD, it wasn’t until he heard the tone in the ICU MD’s voice that he knew he and Meghan’s mom must fly from Virginia to Denver immediately. She was not expected to live.

    Within nine hours of being in the ICU, the cardiothoracic surgery team placed Meghan on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a form of partial cardiopulmonary bypass used for long-term support of respiratory and/or cardiac function. This therapy, developed in the 1950s, gained popularity in the 1970’s when it was shown to improve survival in children when initiated early. ECMO allowed Meghan’s lungs to heal and her body to recover while we search for a cause and treated her symptoms.

    For 12 days, Meghan required 24/7 bedside care and monitoring from two dedicated ICU nurses and a perfusionist (ECMO specialist), in addition to the many specialists who visited her bedside. Due to fluid retention and her kidney failure, Meghan (who is about five feet tall) hit a max weight of 175 pounds. Her eyes were swollen shut and she was almost unrecognizable.

    Her Mom and Dad remained at the bedside around the clock. The ICU team set up a bed in one of the ICU rooms so that they could rest. They read her books, held her hand, the offered words of encouragement. Meghan’s dad would join bedside report, keeping the nurses up to date on all the events since her admission.

    ECMO was able to be removed after 12 days and, even though she was weaning off the ventilator quickly, a tracheostomy was placed to be able to remove the breathing tube from her mouth. Medications were able to be weaned off and Meghan began working with PT, OT & speech therapy to build back her strength. 37 days after admission Meghan was discharged from the ICU/stepdown unit and admitted to the acute rehabilitation department on 2W2. After 16 days of rehab, Meghan was getting ready to be discharged. She returned to her pre-hospital weight of 85 pounds, could now walk the length of the hospital, eat regular food, breathe on her own, she no longer needed dialysis, her wounds were healing, and she had no neurological deficits. She and her dad agreed to come to our 8:30 am daily safety huddle, where Dr. Drake had been regularly updating the group about her phenomenal care and asking for prayers. It was a wonderful moment of pride and celebration.

    When Meghan joined us for a going away celebration, her roommate and other friends from college came and the ED MD who admitted her, Dr. Schuett, was able to meet this girl whose life he helped to save, who he worried about for 52 days.

    Meghan already plans to return to college in the fall. We hope she visits us so that we can celebrate her success and health. There still isn’t a solid answer as to why Meghan’s body produced an overwhelming response to infection that resulted in total, systemic organ failure (Septic Shock). Once she is fully recovered, Meghan will be seeing immunology specialists to try to find answers.

    There were over 170 practitioners that helped Meghan through this journey. This was a team effort by almost every department and every discipline. We want to specifically highlight the extraordinary expertise and skill of the following teams: critical care intensivists, CT surgery, infectious disease, nephrology, palliative care, OR staff, respiratory therapy, PT, OT, speech therapy, the ICU staff and the ED staff, pastoral care department and the rehab department. We are thankful for what you do and the miracles you perform every day.