New Heart Surgeon Brings Innovative Treatments to Boulder County
Boulder Community Health
Boulder Community Health (BCH) has appointed Dr. Bryan Mahan as its new
director of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. With Dr. Mahan’s
arrival, BCH patients now have access to two minimally invasive treatment
options not previously available in Boulder County – one for atrial
fibrillation (or a-fib, an irregular heartbeat that increases the risk
of stroke and heart failure) and the other for aortic aneurysms (a bulge
in part of the aorta, the body’s main artery).
Dr. Mahan is one of a handful of heart surgeons in the state to perform
what is known as a hybrid ablation for a-fib. Intended for patients for
whom other treatments have failed, a hybrid ablation is performed by a
heart surgeon and an electrophysiologist (a cardiologist who specializes
in the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders) working together.
The heart surgeon creates scar tissue on the outside of the heart, while
the electrophysiologist does the same on the inside. This scar tissue
blocks the damaged electrical pathways causing the irregular heartbeat
characteristic of a-fib. The procedure involves only three small incisions
in the chest and a few small punctures in the groin. Patients generally
go home after only one or two nights in the hospital.
Dr. Mahan also has brought to BCH a minimally invasive procedure known
as Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair (TEVAR). Used to treat aortic aneurysms,
TEVAR repairs the aorta using a stent-graft – a flexible metal coil
that seals off the weak part of the aorta, protecting it from growing
any larger. Since TEVAR only requires small groin incisions, it typically
leads to shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery times vs. traditional
“I am honored and excited to serve as Boulder Heart’s director
of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery,” said Dr. Mahan. “BCH
has an outstanding reputation as a health care system dedicated to meeting
the evolving needs of the community and providing access to high quality
medical care. I look forward to continuing that tradition.”
Prior to his arrival in Boulder, Dr. Mahan spent 16 years at Memorial
Hospital in Colorado Springs, 12 of those as director of cardiovascular
and thoracic surgery. He also practiced at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital
in Petoskey, Mich., for 11 years, nine of those as director of thoracic
and cardiac surgery.
Dr. Mahan received his medical degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic
Medicine and completed his residency in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery
at Detroit Osteopathic Hospital. He also completed a senior fellowship
in cardiac surgery at Cleveland Clinic.