Robotic-assisted surgery with Colorado’s most experienced da Vinci
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Boulder Community Health’s Foothills Hospital was the first medical
facility in Colorado and the surrounding multi-state region to perform
cardiac mitral valve surgery via the da Vinci robotic-assisted system.
Da Vinci enables the surgeon to perform open heart surgery through small
incisions and without cutting any bones.
Robotic-assisted mitral valve repair is a remarkably precise, minimally-invasive
scope-based approach. Patients experience fewer incisions (incisions are
often less than two inches) and much smaller scars, shorter hospital stays,
quicker recovery times and less pain.
With over 20 years of experience,
Dr. Daniel O’Hair is one of the nation’s leading experts in robotic-assisted mitral
valve repair and Colorado’s most experienced surgeon for that procedure.
In 2019, patients from Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming and Florida traveled
to BCH for Dr. O’Hair to perform robotic mitral valve surgery.
BCH and Dr. O’Hair can offer a full range of mitral treatments. Our
full-service cardiology program includes highly experienced cardiologists
and surgeons with a team-based, multidisciplinary approach, providing
everything from diagnostic tests to advanced treatments.
To learn more about Robotic Mitral Valve Repair or make an appointment,
please call 303-442-2395. Dr. Daniel O’Hair is the most experienced
surgeon in a multi-state region offering robotic mitral valve repair.
Mitral valve disease includes stenosis and/or regurgitation (leaking).
Stenosis occurs when the mitral valve in your heart narrows, restricting
blood flow into the main pumping chamber. Regurgitation occurs when the
mitral valve fails to close properly, causing blood to flow backward into
the left atrium. The result is the heart has to work much harder, and
this can ultimately lead to heart failure.
In patients with severe mitral valve disease, the valve must be replaced
or repaired. If you require mitral valve surgery you may be a candidate
for robotic-assisted mitral valve surgery.
Mitral regurgitation affects nearly one in 10 Americans aged 75 or older.
People with mild mitral valve regurgitation often live long, full lives
and never require treatment. Once the condition becomes severe and begins
to affect your heart’s ability to pump blood, mitral valve repair
is the best option for most patients with a leaking mitral valve (mitral
Signs and symptoms may include:
- Abnormal heart sound (heart murmur) heard through a stethoscope
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath – particularly when you have been very active
or when you lie down
- Loss of energy
- Swelling of your ankles and feet
- Irregular heartbeat or palpitations (extra or skipped heartbeats)
If the condition is left untreated, it can lead to heart failure.
Sometimes mitral valve regurgitation does not cause any symptoms, even
when the problem becomes severe. The heart has the ability to compensate
for a long period of time. The quicker a surgeon can stop the severe leak
– even when you experience no symptoms – the better the outcome.
In patients with "borderline severe" disease or "moderate
severe" disease, consultation with Dr. O'Hair may bring clarity
to the need for and timing of treatment.
At Boulder Heart, we use the latest advanced technologies to treat your
condition. For mitral valve disease, Dr. Daniel O'Hair uses the da Vinci
Xi surgical system, the most advanced minimally-invasive option for greater
precision. The same system can used to perform complex surgeries in the
areas of cardiothoracic, colorectal, general, gynecologic and urologic
surgery. To perform advanced procedures with da Vinci Xi system, surgeons
make very small incisions to insert a tiny high-definition, three-dimensional
camera and miniature surgical instruments into a patient’s body.
Click here to learn more about da Vinci technologies.
da Vinci Xi and Mitral Valve Disease
Seated next to the patient, the surgeon can view the heart with a magnified
high-definition 3D view. Your surgeon uses the sharply defined live imagery
to precisely maneuver instruments as small as seven millimeters inside
During surgery, the surgeon removes the defective or damaged segment of
the mitral valve leaflet. The leaflet is then reconstructed using healthy
This technology allows the surgeon to see the intricate anatomy of the
heart, with precise instrumentation and crystal clear 3DHD visualization
(10 times greater than the human eye). With robotic-assisted surgery,
no bones are cut. The incision is similar in size to that used to remove
an appendix. This allows for quicker recovery and less pain.
The benefits of robotic mitral valve repair include:
- Minimally-invasive with fewer incisions (5 to 6 total incisions, each 1
to 2 inches)
- Less pain and scarring
- Shorter hospital stay (typically 2 nights)
- Faster recovery and return to normal activities
After general surgery, systemic side effects are expected. With the da
Vinci procedure, patients report limited weakness, fatigue and shortness
of breath. Appetite and sleep patterns are also improved.
At the two-week post-operative appointment, patients are often walking
a mile or more with no fatigue, incisions are well healed and they are
feeling very little effects from the surgery.
Those who undergo surgery sooner rather than later, even if they feel no
symptoms, have improved long-term survival and a lower risk of heart failure.
Dr. Daniel P. O’Hair, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at BCH,
is one of the nation’s leading experts in robotic-assisted mitral
valve repair and Colorado’s most experienced surgeon for that procedure.
Dr. O’Hair successfully created one of the largest, high-performing
heart valve programs in the U.S. and served as a medical community leader
in Wisconsin for two decades, performing the first-robotic assisted mitral
valve repair, TAVR, and mitral valve replacement (TMVR) procedures in
Dr. O’Hair’s case experience in the U.S. and internationally
is over 6,000. Dr. O'Hair followed his medical degree with two residencies
and two research fellowships at Medical College of Wisconsin and Columbia
University, respectively. He's now a leading innovator and expert
in heart valve disease, surgical robotics and advanced cardiovascular surgery.
A Wisconsin native, Dr. O’Hair has been published in the New England
Journal of Medicine – the world’s leading medical journal
and website – and teaches fellow cardiologists around the world
how to perform the innovative transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
The highly experienced cardiologists and surgeons at BCH build lasting
personal relationships with each patient. We listen to you, we know your
history, and we partner with your other medical providers to provide the
right cardiac care at the right time.
To find out if robotic mitral valve repair is right for you, schedule a
consultation with Dr. O’Hair by calling Boulder Heart at 303-442-2395.
Boulder Heart at Anderson Medical Center
4743 Arapahoe Ave. #201
Boulder, CO 80303
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