Heart Surgery

The heart surgery specialists within The CommonSpirit Health Heart & Vascular network are highly skilled in open heart and minimally invasive procedures. 

Heart Surgery

The heart surgery specialists within The CommonSpirit Health Heart & Vascular network are highly skilled in open heart and minimally invasive procedures. 

In 1964, we performed the very first open heart surgery on an adult in southern Colorado. Since then, our board-certified cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeons have continued to advance heart care, performing more than 1000 heart surgery procedures each year, providing you with the very best care and latest technology.

We’re dedicated to providing you with excellent care and outcomes that are among the best in the nation, as evidenced by CommonSpirit Health’s numerous heart and vascular quality awards. Our entire team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiac nurses and specialized medical technicians work together to provide you with care you can trust when it matters most.

Surgeries and procedures we perform

If your doctor recommends heart surgery, CommonSpirit Health gives you access to the most experienced surgeons and hospitals in the area. Our cardiac surgeons have experience in some of the most advanced procedures, including the minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure and robotic-assisted surgeries.

Some of the cardiac surgeries we provide include:

This procedure repairs holes in the heart through patching or sewing them closed. The surgery can usually be done through minimally invasive or robotically assisted methods, but some complications may require more traditional open-heart surgery.

The surgery involves removing a healthy vein or artery from another area of the body and then surgically grafting it below or above an artery that is not functioning correctly. This allows the blood to go around the blocked vessel.

This procedure involves making small incisions to form scar tissue in the heart, disrupting the flow of electrical pulses that can cause irregular heartbeats. In cases of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a specific type of heart rhythm disorder, a small implant will be attached within the heart to help it pump blood.

When a heart valve functions poorly, because of narrowing or leaking, it may need to be replaced to reduce the stress it puts on your heart.

During this open-heart surgery, a heart-lung machine replaces the natural pumping and oxygenation function of the heart. Medications are given so the heart can be completely at rest during the surgery. Replacement valves are either mechanical (crafted from durable, man-made materials) or bioprosthetic (taken from a pig, cow or human donor).

Heart valve repair is used to tighten or reshape valve openings, remove floppy or weak parts of valve components, remove calcium deposits and patch or repair damage to the valve.

Until recently, heart valve repairs required an open-chest procedure, but now can be done through minimally invasive surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery is often an option for patients requiring repair or replacement of only one valve. Our cardiothoracic surgeons use specialized instruments through a two-inch keyhole incision to perform the surgery.

In the TAVR procedure, a new advancement in valve replacement, is done by squeezing a valve into a small balloon on the end of a catheter. The catheter is inserted and, once it’s in place, is inflated to open the valve and restore the flow of blood.

When a thoracic aortic aneurysm becomes large, causes symptoms or appears to be expanding rapidly, repair is needed to reduce the risk of a life-threatening rupture. During the procedure, the surgeon repairs the weakened area using a man-made graft.

Depending on the size and location of the aneurysm, the repair may be made by open surgery or a less invasive method called endovascular repair.

When the wall dividing your heart into its two main sections has a hole in it, the oxygenated blood from your lungs mixes with the oxygen-poor blood from the rest of your body. This can be repaired with traditional open-heart surgery or with minimally invasive techniques.