Heart & Vascular Center

When it comes to emergency cardiovascular care. At Penrose Hospital, our goal is for heart attack patients to receive care an average of 60 minutes or less, a full 33% faster than the American College of Cardiology national benchmark of 90 minutes.

2222 N Nevada Ave
Ste 4001
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Monday - Friday: 8:00 am-4:30 pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Heart & Vascular experts

Our highly-skilled team of cardiologists, cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists and other specialists tackle heart and vascular disease from several fronts.

From prevention and screening to advanced heart imaging technology to minimally invasive treatments and robotic-assisted heart surgery, the Penrose Hospital Heart & Vascular Center provides a full scope of care for any type of adult heart condition. We are committed to educating patients about treatment options so they can make the most informed health care decisions. 

Our Services

The Penrose Hospital Heart & Vascular Center provides the most advanced and effective treatments for heart and vascular care. Penrose Hospital, along with local emergency medical services providers, continue to excel locally, statewide and nationally in our response times for heart attack patients.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Heart & Vascular Center

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Penrose Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation helps people recovering from a heart attack, valve or bypass surgery, stent implant or other heart problem. Rehabilitation helps prepare you physically, mentally and emotionally for return to work and normal family and social life. It also helps you slowly and safely get back to normal activities. Our therapists talk to you about changes you can make to help reduce your risk of more heart problems. A physician referral is required for cardiac rehabilitation.

Cardiac rehabilitation can:

  • Increase your chances of surviving a heart attack or other heart problem
  • Increase your ability to be active and exercise
  • Help you return to work sooner
  • Help you get back to a normal lifestyle
  • Improve overall health and well-being

Cardiac Rehabilitation Phase I provides educational services for patients hospitalized at Penrose Hospital and St- Francis Medical Center for open heart surgery, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, and other coronary artery disease related diagnoses. Trained Cardiac Nurses provide education about recovery, activity and coronary artery risk factor modification to patients and family members.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Phase II is designed primarily for patients with a diagnosis of coronary artery disease, open-heart surgery, recent myocardial infarction, angioplasty, stent, or stable angina. This comprehensive program offers prescribed cardiovascular exercise, risk factor modification, education, on-going nursing assessment and referral to nutritionist and behavioral intervention based on individual need. This multifaceted program is designed to limit the adverse physiologic and psychological effects of cardiac illness, reduce risk of sudden death or reinfarction, control cardiac symptoms, stabilize the atherosclerotic process and enhance the patient's psychosocial and vocational status. Cardiac Rehabilitation Phase II Program is reimbursed by Medicare and most other payers. Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation is offered at Audubon Medical Campus and St. Francis Medical Center.

For more information on Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation, talk to your doctor for a referral or call.

The Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Penrose Hospital is proud to be certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). Our program was recognized for its commitment to improving the quality of life by enhancing standards of care. We participated in the one month application process which requires extensive documentation of the program's practices. The AACVPR Program Certification is the only peer-reviewed accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by the AACVPR and other professional societies. Each program is reviewed by the AACVPR National Certification Committee and certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors. Certified AACVPR programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available. AACVPR Program Certification is valid for three years.

The Penrose Hospital Heart & Vascular Center’s cardiac rehabilitation program is proud to offer Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ – the first and only program that is scientifically proven to slow, stop, and even reverse the progression of heart disease. 

This intensive cardiac rehabilitation program brings about its life-changing results by helping participants adopt and sustain lifestyle changes in four areas of their lives:

  • What they eat
  • How active they are
  • How they respond to stress
  • How much love & support they have in their lives.

By optimizing these four elements, the program empowers them to minimize their reliance on medications, avoid future surgeries, and most importantly, re-take control of their health.

Why enroll in the Penrose Hospital Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program?

Because of the results. The program is scientifically proven to:

  • Reduce the risk of heart-related events
  • Decrease the frequency and severity of chest discomfort
  • Lower the likelihood of future surgery
  • Lessen dependence on medications
  • Lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, and bring about weight loss 
  • Increase your capacity for exercise


Learn More at Ornish Lifestyle Medicine

Cardiovascular Procedures & Surgeries

Heart & Vascular Center

Cardiovascular Procedures & Surgeries

Our team of highly skilled physicians and clinical caregivers specialize in everything from heart disease prevention and education to diagnostic and treatment services. We offer cutting-edge cardiovascular procedures and surgeries. 

Our cardiothoracic surgeons specialize in the following heart surgeries:

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery 
  • Heart valve surgery 
  • Atrial fibrillation surgery  
  • Aortic surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Thoracic oncology

Our vascular specialists have vast expertise and experience in diagnosing and treating common, complex and rare vascular diseases, as well as in traditional open and endovascular procedures.

  • Endovascular aneurysm surgery
  • IVC Filter placement and removal
  • Open aneurysm surgery
  • Lower extremity arterial surgery
  • Carotid surgery
  • Dialysis access surgery
  • Varicose vein surgery

A new treatment – transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) – is now available for people with aortic valve stenosis who can’t have surgery, the only other treatment for this condition. Aortic valve stenosis happens when the heart’s aortic valve narrows, blocking blood from flowing through the major artery leading out of the heart and throughout the body. 

Shortness of breath and fatigue are the most common symptoms of aortic valve stenosis, which mostly affects people in their 70s and 80s. “Because the symptoms come on very slowly, patients usually just attribute it to aging,” says John Mehall, MD, medical director of cardiothoracic surgery at Penrose Hospital. 

Anyone with shortness of breath that interferes with daily activities should see a cardiologist. Aortic valve stenosis also can become severe without any symptoms. Doctors often find it during a physical, when they hear an abnormal heart sound, called a heart murmur.  

Catheter-based treatment 

If left untreated, 50 percent of people with severe aortic stenosis and symptoms die within two years. Replacing the diseased valve is the only treatment. Until recently, patients who were too sick or high risk for open-heart or minimally invasive heart surgery couldn’t be treated. TAVR, available in southern Colorado at Penrose Hospital, changes that. 

TAVR is done by threading a long, flexible tube through an artery, usually in the groin, to the heart. The valve is squeezed into a balloon on the end of the catheter and once it’s inside the natural aortic valve, it’s inflated. This opens the valve and restores the blood flow.

Fast relief and recovery 

“Patients do remarkably well,” Mehall says. “In most patients, shortness of breath is markedly improved days after the procedure.” Recovery is much easier after TAVR than after open-heart surgery or minimally invasive aortic valve replacement. Patients spend about three days in the hospital and about two weeks recovering after that. That compares to four days in the hospital and four weeks of recovery for minimally invasive aortic valve replacement, or seven days in the hospital and eight weeks of recovery for open-heart repair. Because TAVR is limited to use in patients who cannot tolerate surgery, minimally invasive aortic valve replacement is the best option for younger, healthier patients, notes Mehall.

Who is TAVR Right For? 

TAVR is right for people with health issues such as:  

  • Frailty 
  • Previous heart surgery
  • Diseases (often more than one) such as:
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease
    • Kidney disease  

Watchman offers an alternative to the lifelong use of anticoagulants for patients with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem (non-valvular atrial fibrillation.) This permanent heart implant effectively reduces risk of stroke without the risk of bleeding that can arise from the long-term use of anticoagulants.

Mitrclip is a less invasive catheter based procedure indicated for patients for reduction of severe mitral regurgitation. It is indicated for patients with degenerative mitral valve disease who have high surgical risk who are not candidates for open heart mitral valve replacement.

Diagnostics & Interventions

Heart & Vascular Center

Diagnostics & Interventions

The Penrose Hospital Heart & Vascular Center performs diagnostic procedures to evaluate cardiovascular function and to identify structural abnormalities, including blockages or heart valve malformations to over 4000 patients annually

Our Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, or Cath Lab, provides state-of-the-art angiographic assessment of coronary artery anatomy and the flow of blood through the structures of the heart. The Cath Lab is ready 24/7 to assist a patient with life-threatening cardiac or peripheral vascular disease to quickly restore them to optimal health.

Interventions include:

  • Coronary and Peripheral Angiography
  • Coronary Angioplasty and Stenting
Heart Calcium CT Scan

Heart & Vascular Center

Heart Calcium CT Scan

Are you at risk for a heart attack? 

A heart scan detects unhealthy levels of coronary plaque ~ the main cause of heart attacks.

Penrose Hospital is committed to your cardiovascular health, and, we’re currently offering the Heart Calcium CT scan for only $99.

This price includes:

  • A cardiac nurse to review results with you at the time of the scan
  • All elevated scores reviewed by a cardiologist who will make recommendations

(Physician referral is not required)

To schedule an appointment today, contact us:

  • Phone: 719-776-8010
Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Heart & Vascular Center

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

The Penrose Hospital Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program helps people with moderate to severe breathing problems overcome physical limitations resulting from their disease.

Candidates for the program include those experiencing lung problems such as:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Lung cancer and lung cancer surgery
  • Lung volume reduction surgery before and after lung transplantation

Each patient’s program begins with a comprehensive pulmonary evaluation by clinical experts in pulmonary rehabilitation. Through a carefully planned, integrated and individualized program of supervised physical conditioning, exercise and educational and nutritional counseling, physical capacity is increased and the patient is empowered to overcome their shortness of breath.

Medical Evaluation

A comprehensive medical evaluation is conducted by our pulmonary rehabilitation team, then an individualized program is developed based on their findings.

Monitored and Supervised Exercise

People with pulmonary disease often limit physical activity because they are frightened they will become short of breath; lack of activity, however, reduces muscle strength and causes weakness. Our pulmonary rehabilitation program includes exercises and activities tailored to your needs to help participants increase physical capacity and regain control of breathing. By combining exercise with other services patients improve their abilities to carry out activities of daily living with more energy and less difficulty.

Educational Programs

Our education classes focus on COPD and other chronic lung diseases providing you with information about:

  • Medications, including drug action, side effects, using an inhaler, and self-care techniques
  • Understanding and using oxygen therapy
  • Diet, nutrition, and weight management
  • Breathing retraining
  • Importance of exercise
  • Strategies for managing breathing problems
  • Symptom assessment to know about when to seek medical treatment

Psychosocial Support

People who have chronic lung diseases are more prone to depression, anxiety and other emotional problems. Our program offers counseling referrals from a variety of sources.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation helps you improve your quality of life. Even though pulmonary rehabilitation can’t cure your lung disease, it can be of great benefit. And, you may notice improved breathing effort and less breathing problems.

Additional benefits include:

  • Reduce and control breathing difficulties and other symptoms
  • Knowledge about your disease, treatment options, and chronic disease coping strategies
  • Learn to manage your disease and reduce dependence on costly medical resources
  • Maintain healthy behaviors such as smoking cessation, good nutrition and exercise
  • Decreased symptoms of your disease
  • Ability to function better in your daily life
  • Increased ability to exercise
  • Decreased symptoms and better management of anxiety and depression

A physician referral is needed to participate in the pulmonary rehabilitation program. Talk to your doctor to find out if pulmonary rehabilitation is right for you.

For more information about the pulmonary rehabilitation program, contact us at:

Audubon Medical Campus
3030 N. Circle Drive, Suite 215
Colorado Springs, CO 80909

  • Phone: 719-776-4880
  • Fax: 719-776-4866

Our cardiac diagnostics, interventions and surgical care include:

  • Clinical cardiology
  • Examination and consultation
  • Stress testing
  • Ambulatory monitoring
  • Echocardiography
  • Tilt table testing
  • Nuclear cardiology
  • Coronary angioplasty
  • Peripheral angiography
  • Stenting
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Heart valve surgery
  • Atrial fibrillation surgery
  • Aortic surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Thoracic oncology
  • Endovascular aneurysm surgery
  • IVC filter placement and removal
  • Open aneurysm surgery
  • Lower extremity arterial surgery
  • Carotid surgery
  • Dialysis access surgery
  • Varicose vein surgery
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement
  • Watchman
  • Transcatheter mitral valve repair
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Minimally invasive surgery

Conditions We Treat

  • Aortic diseases
  • Artery blockages
  • Heart rhythm disorders
  • Lung disease
  • Heart valve disease

Patient Resources