Porter Heart & Vascular Institute

Porter Adventist Hospital

2525 S Downing St
Ste 140
Denver, Colorado 80210

39.6700386, -104.9748195

Latitude: 39.6700386, Longitude: -104.9748195

Porter Heart & Vascular Institute

Porter Adventist Hospital

Advanced Cardiac Surgery

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.

  • Hyperhidrosis

    According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, at least 3% of the world’s population suffers from excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that can be localized in specific parts of the body, or occur everywhere. Most commonly it affects a person’s palms and armpits, causing a patient great distress and discomfort. 

    There are a series of treatment options available to hyperhidrosis patients that can include medication, antiperspirants, Botox injections, and even a technique in which a person’s hands are soaked in a saline solution while receiving electrical currents. The effects of these treatments are not permanent and can often lead to side effects.

    At Porter Adventist Hospital, we offer patients a unique minimally invasive surgical option called Micro Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) to permanently treat hyperhidrosis. The procedure is completed through two very small incisions in the chest cavity. The sympathetic nerve, which is responsible for the cause of excessive sweating, is divided using electrocautery. From there a patient is sutured up and can often return to their normal activities in less than one week.    

  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Surgery

    The cardiac surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute can repair holes between the top 2 chambers in the heart, or atrial septal defect, a congenital heart condition present at birth. 

    Atrial septal defect surgery might be recommended for three main reasons—1) if the opening, or hole, is large; 2) if there are other symptoms, heart defects or abnormalities, such as a large amount of shunting 3) or the heart is enlarged, which may lead to heart failure.

    Depending on the size, number and location of the heart defect, the procedure can be done using a minimally invasive approach, promising small incisions, less pain, minimal scarring and recovery time. If the hole, or ASD, is too big or other risk factors exist, a more traditional surgical procedure using a cardiopulmonary bypass might be recommended. 

    Minimally Invasive Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Surgery through Chest

    If the heart surgeons require access to the right atrium, due to location, size and other characteristics of the ASD, a more traditional approach will be taken, such as:

    • Make an incision in the middle of the chest bone
    • Pull the two sides of the chest bone apart
    • Repair the defects (sew the hole closed or patch with the patient’s tissue or a synthetic material)
    • Use the assistance of a heart-lung machine

    Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Surgery

    Each day the heart surgeons make strides in revolutionary atrial septal defect treatments, such as robotic surgery and combinations of techniques that utilize the following:

    • Use a computerized control system with surgeon console, two instrument arms and fiberoptic camera
    • Make small, keyhole-size incisions between ribs 
    • See magnified, high-definition and 3D images of the heart
    • Control instrument to perform precise heart surgery
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery

    Patients who have coronary artery disease (CAD), or hardening and narrowing of the arteries, and have already tried lifestyle changes, medication and angioplasty might be candidates for coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). Also called bypass surgery, the procedure utilizes healthy sections of the patient’s veins or arteries typically from the leg, chest or wrist, to create new paths for the blood to flow from the heart. The healthy veins are attached (or grafted) to the coronary artery, just below the blocked or narrowed areas. Once the graft is complete, the blood is able to bypass the blockage in the artery. Depending on the amount of blockages, some people require more than one bypass, hence “double bypass,” “triple bypass,” “quadruple bypass” and “quintuple bypass” surgery.

    The CABG procedures performed by the heart surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute are met with exceptional results. Patients go on to live symptom-free lives, especially with the help of lifestyle changes and medication to prevent blockages in the arteries from reoccurring. 

    Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

    Considered revolutionary, the minimally invasive and robot-assisted bypass surgery is ideal for patients who have only one blocked artery with narrowed vessels at the front of the heart. Without cutting or separating the chest bone, minimally invasive bypass surgery is completed by the following:

    Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

    Though the chest bone is open during the off-pump bypass surgery, the heart isn’t stopped. Therefore, a heart-lung bypass machine isn’t used. Also called beating-heart bypass grafting, the off-pump surgery is performed by the following:

    Traditional Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

    If the heart blockages are severe, affecting multiple major arteries, the heart surgeons may recommend traditional bypass surgery, which involves the following:

    • Make several small cuts on the left side of the chest between the ribs
    • View a monitor with 3D images of heart and blocked arteries
    • Utilize a special computer to control robotic arms to graft arteries
    • Achieve exceptional results with minimum pain, scarring or down time
    • Give medicine to slow the heart
    • Make a 2- to 3-inch incision in the chest
    • Separate the breast bone and muscles
    • Access the clogged arteries of the heart
    • Graft, or bypass, all the blocked arteries
    • Give medicine to stop the heart
    • Use a heart-lung bypass machine keeps blood and oxygen moving
    • Make an incision in the middle of the chest bone
    • Separate the breast bone and muscles
    • Access the clogged arteries of the heart
    • Graft, or bypass, all the blocked arteries on a still heart
  • Cox-Maze Procedure for Atrial Fibrillation

    The skilled cardiac surgical team at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute are among the only specialists in the Denver area to use an FDA approved device to treat atrial fibrillation through the Cox-Maze procedure. This revolutionary surgery is successfully able to stop the abnormal electrical signals that cause irregular heartbeats by the following method:

    The Cox-Maze surgery for atrial fibrillation is also taken a step further by the following:

    • Make small incisions to form scar tissue on the left and right atrium
    • Disrupt the pathway where abnormal electrical impulses occur with an epicardial tissue ablation device
    • Prevent irregular electrical impulses from returning
    • Attach an implant to close the left atrial appendage
    • Significantly lower the risk of stroke later on in atrial fibrillation patients
  • Heart Valve Repair & Replacement

    The cardiac surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute in Denver are renowned for valve repair and replacement surgery. There are four valves in the heart, including aortic, mitral, tricuspid and pulmonic. Depending on which of the four valves in the heart is damaged or not working properly, along with other factors like patient overall health and other heart issues, will determine which type of surgical approach the doctors will recommend. Valve replacement surgery is most common with the aortic valve; while valve repair sugary is more frequently used for the mitral valve. The tricuspid and pulmonic valve are equally repaired and replaced.

    With only a few small incisions, as opposed to traditional surgery, requiring a large opening cut into the chest, many heart valve problems can be fixed with minimal pain, bleeding, scarring or recovery time. However, some patients might require traditional surgery, also called open surgery, as well as need a heart-lung machine. 

    Thoracoscopic or Endoscopic Heart Valve Surgery

    The endoscopic or keyhole approach to heart valve surgery is performed by the following:

    Robot-Assisted Heart Valve Surgery

    Patients who are candidates for robot-assisted valve surgery benefit from the latest surgical advancements in the Denver area, such as the following:

    Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Surgery

    The cardiac surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute might recommend aortic valve surgery to replace the aortic valve in the heart for two main reasons:

    1. The aortic valve does not close all the way, called aortic regurgitation
    2. The aortic valve does not open fully, called aortic stenosis

    With advancements in minimally invasive heart procedures, our cardiac surgeons are considered leaders in the Denver area and able to perform aortic valve surgery with only a few small incisions, as opposed to traditional surgery, requiring a large opening cut into the chest. Though patients might need to be on a heart-lung machine for some of the surgeries, the minimally invasive techniques promise minimal pain, bleeding, scarring and recovery time. 

    Thoracoscopic or Endoscopy Aortic Valve Surgery

    The endoscopic or keyhole approach to aortic valve surgery is performed by the following:

    • Make 1 to 4 small incisions in chest
    • Insert camera and special surgical tools through small incisions
    • Perform valve repair or replacement surgery with enhanced precision 
    • Ring Annuloplasty: Sew a ring of metal, cloth or tissue around the ring-looking part of the valve
    • Valve Repair: Trim, shape or rebuild the damaged area of the flaps the close and open the valve
    • Make 2 to 4 tiny cuts in chest (1/2 to 3/4 inches each)
    • Utilize a special computer to control robotic arms during the surgery
    • Display a 3D view of the heart valve on a monitor
    • Promises a precise method 
    • Make 1 to 4 small incisions in chest
    • Insert camera and special surgical tools through small incisions
    • Perform surgery with enhanced precision 
  • Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Surgery

    The heart surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute are exceptionally skilled at minimally invasive mitral valve repair and replacement surgery. Patients who have either a mitral valve that is hardened, keeping blood from moving forward; or a mitral valve that is too loose, enabling the blood to flow backward, might be candidates for some of the most advanced heart surgery in the Denver area.

    With only a few small incisions, as opposed to traditional surgery, requiring a large opening cut into the chest, mitral valve problems can be fixed with minimal pain, bleeding, scarring or recovery time. However, some patients might require traditional surgery, also called open surgery, as well as requiring a heart-lung machine. 

    Thoracoscopy or Endoscopy Mitral Valve Surgery

    The endoscopic or keyhole approach to mitral valve surgery is performed by the following:

    Robot-Assisted Mitral Valve Surgery

    Patients who are candidates for robot-assisted mitral valve surgery benefit from the latest surgical advancements in the Denver area, such as the following:

    Traditional, or Open, Mitral Valve Surgery

    If minimally invasive mitral valve surgery is not an option, the cardiac surgeons will perform traditional surgery, also called open heart mitral valve surgery, which involves the following:

    Mitral Valve Repair Surgery

    Whichever procedure the Porter Adventist Hospital heart surgeons recommend to repair a problematic mitral valve, there are two main techniques, which include:

    Mitral or Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery

    A replacement mitral valve is recommended if the damage to the existing valve is too severe to be repaired. The heart surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute often utilize the same minimally invasive mitral valve surgery techniques when replacing a valve as they do when performing a repair. If a minimally invasive approach isn’t possible, coronary artery bypass graph surgery (CABG), or surgery to replace the entire mitral valve, might be recommended. Whichever valve replacement surgery is performed, it will require a new mitral valve be sewn in place of the damaged one, such as these two types:

    Valve procedure through a Groin Artery (Percutaneous Valvuloplasty)

    Some cardiac procedures can be performed without making an incision in the chest, yet access the heart through percutaneous valvuloplasty via an artery in the groin for treatment for aortic, mitral, and pulmonary valve stenosis, by the following:

    • Make 1 to 4 small incisions in chest
    • Insert camera and special surgical tools through small incisions
    • Perform surgery with enhanced precision 
    • Requires 2 to 4 tiny cuts in chest (1/2 to 3/4 inches each)
    • Utilizes a special computer to control robotic arms during the surgery
    • Displays a 3D view of the heart and mitral valve on a monitor
    • Promises a precise method of repair
    • Make a 2- to 3-inch incision in the chest
    • Separate the breast bone and muscles
    • Access the heart
    • Create a small cut in the left side of heart
    • Repair or replace the mitral valve
    • Ring Annuloplasty: Sew a ring of metal, cloth or tissue around the ring-looking part of the mitral valve
    • Valve Repair: Trim, shape or rebuild the damaged area of the flaps the close and open the valve
    • Mechanical: made of titanium or carbon; lasts the longest; requires blood-thinning medicine for life.
    • Biological: made of human or animal tissue; lasts 10 to 20 years; may not require blood thinners for life.
    • Make a small cut near the groin
    • Locate the femoral artery
    • Insert a catheter (tube) with a balloon on the end through the artery
    • Guide the catheter and balloon to the damaged valve
    • Inflate the balloon and stretch the opening of the valve
  • Robotic Assisted Cardiac Surgery

    Porter Adventist Hospital is the only Colorado hospital currently offering robotic assisted cardiothoracic surgery.  To have robotic assisted cardiac surgery before now, a Colorado patient formerly had to travel to out of state to a major heart center, and the only in-state option was traditional heart surgery.  Now patients can get the minimally invasive, robotic assisted surgical approach right here in Denver, Colorado.  Surgeries are performed through the right chest through very small incisions between the ribs. Compared with traditional heart surgery, there is less pain, less blood loss, reduced need for blood transfusions, fewer complications, and faster recovery.

    Surgeries Offered Through This Robotic Approach Include:

    • Mitral Valve Repair
    • Tricuspid Valve Repair
    • Intracardiac Tumors
    • Correction of Atrial Fibrillation
    • Coronary Bypass Surgery (for very select cases)
  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Repair

    Porter Heart and Vascular Institute cardiac surgeons recommend thoracic aortic aneurysm repair for three main reasons:

    1. If the aneurysm is larger than 2 inches or 5 to 6 centimeters
    2. If the aneurysm is growing quickly
    3. If there is a risk of the aneurysm rupturing

    The surgical treatment approach is dependent upon where in the aorta the aneurysm is located:

    1. The ascending aorta, leads up toward head
    2. The aortic arch, curved middle part
    3. The descending aorta (in the chest area), leads down toward feet

    Whichever thoracic aortic aneurysm repair surgery is recommended, it is important to keep in mind that these types of heart surgeries are major surgical procedures, also called “open surgery.”

    Ascending Aorta and Aortic Arch Aneurysm Repair

    The skilled cardiac surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute are among few in the Denver area and this region of the Rockies able to perform ascending aorta and aortic arch aneurysm repair surgery, by the following:

    Descending Thoracic Aorta Aneurysm Repair

    Typically a major surgery, the descending thoracic aorta aneurysm repair can be performed by the skilled cardiac surgery team at Porter Heart and Vascular Institute by the following:

    • Make an incision in the middle of the chest bone
    • Pull the two sides of the chest bone apart
    • Replace the aorta with a fabric or synthetic graft
    • Use the assistance of a heart-lung machine
    • Make a cut on the left side of the chest, which may reach to the abdomen
    • Replace the aorta with a fabric graft
    • May require use the assistance of a heart-lung machine
  • Other Surgeries

    • Aortic Valve Repair and Replacement Surgery
    • Carotid Endarterectomy
    • Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) Surgery