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Cardiovascular Surgery

Boulder Valley's Most Experienced Heart Surgery Team

heart imageCardiothoracic Surgery chair Dr. Daniel O'Hair and highly skilled surgeon Dr. Bryan Mahan lead the only full-service Cardiothoracic Surgery program -- and the only full-time Open Heart Surgery program -- performing procedures in the Boulder Valley.

With more than 50 years of combined experience, our cardiovascular surgical team offers considerable expertise that leads to better outcomes and healthier lives. At Foothills Hospital in Boulder, our expert team performs a complete range of advanced thoracic and cardiovascular surgeries and minimally invasive procedures, including mitral valve repair using the latest da Vinci Xi™ technology.

Heart Surgery Services

We specialize in treating adult heart disease, including the following conditions and treatments:

  • Aortic aneurysms
  • Aortic root replacement and repair
  • Aortic dissection
  • Aortic valve replacement and repair
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
  • Complex re-operative surgeries
  • Robotic-assisted mitral valve repair using the da Vinci Xi™ surgical system
  • Heart infections
  • Lung cancer and other chest diseases requiring surgery
  • Mitral valve replacement and repair
  • Surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation (Cox-Maze IV procedure)
  • Tricuspid valve replacement and repair

BCH cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons Dr. Daniel O'Hair and Dr. Bryan Mahan have extensive experience with traditional and minimally-invasive procedures.
Please call 303-442-2395 to schedule an appointment today.

Minimally-Invasive Heart Procedures

Cox-Maze IV: Surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, is a major cause of stroke, and is increasing in prevalence. Treatment options include anticoagulant medications and catheter-based or surgical procedures. Surgical treatments for AFib have improved greatly over the past two decades. Boulder Heart's heart surgeons offer extensive experience in the current the gold standard for surgical AFib treatment: the Cox-Maze IV procedure. Involving only small incisions and punctures, Cox-Maze IV combines bipolar radiofrequency with cryoablation.

Hybrid ablation: Addressing difficult-to-treat AFib

BCH's heart surgeons are one of only handful of surgeons in the state to perform hybrid ablation, an advanced, minimally invasive procedure to treat atrial fibrillation. Hybrid ablation is a collaborative procedure performed by both a heart surgeon and an electrophysiologist in which the heart surgeon creates scar tissue on the outside of the heart while the electrophysiologist does the same on the inside by using a catheter-led device to freeze malfunctioning tissue. The resulting “helpful” scar tissue blocks damaged electrical pathways that cause AFib's characteristic irregular heartbeat. Patients experience only three small incisions in the chest and small punctures in the groin, and can return home after just one or two nights in the hospital.

Robotic-assisted mitral valve repair: Noninvasive treatment to repair failing mitral valves. Robotically assisted mitral valve surgery is a type of minimally invasive heart surgery on the mitral valve with an endoscopic, closed chest approach. At Boulder Heart, it is performed by Dr. Daniel O'Hair, Colorado's most experienced surgeon with this innovative procedure. Your heart has four valves: mitral, tricuspid, aortic and pulmonic. The mitral valve lies between the upper heart chamber and the lower heart chamber. In patients with sever mitral valve disease, the valve must be repaired or replaced, with a preference for the former. If you require mitral valve surgery, either repair or replacement, you may be a candidate for robotically assisted mitral valve surgery.

Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR): Repairing aortic aneurysms

TEVAR repairs the aorta using a stent-graft, a flexible metal coil that seals off the weak part of the aorta and protects it from growing any larger. Since TEVAR only requires small groin incisions, it typically leads to shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery times compared to traditional surgical approaches.

Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (SAVR): This traditional open-heart surgery procedure is the standard of care for patients with stenosis or regurgitation who are healthy enough to have major surgery. A cardiothoracic surgeon and team remove the narrowed valve and replace it with a mechanical valve (made of

metal) or a biological valve (made of animal or human tissue).

Minimally Invasive Open-Heart Surgery: Like traditional open-heart surgery, this procedure is done through a smaller incision at the breastbone. A medical assessment is needed to determine if this is an option for you.

Benefits of Minimally-Invasive Heart Procedures

Advantages of a minimally invasive approach include:

  • Reduced pain and recovery time
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Less blood loss
  • Smaller, less noticeable scarring
  • Shorter hospital stay (generally 1-2 nights in the hospital)

Make an Appointment Today
Make an appointment today to meet with our surgical care team and learn about the best treatment options for you.
To schedule, call 303-442-2395.

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Important Information

Boulder Community Health is following current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that call for patients and visitors to continue wearing masks at Foothills Hospital and all BCH patient-care facilities.

People age 12 and older are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more on our general vaccine information page.