Cardiac surgery in Denver

Sometimes lifestyle changes and medication aren't enough to correct a heart condition. If you face heart surgery as a treatment, you can be sure that you will get the best possible care from the surgeons within the HealthONE Physician Group network of providers.

Our board-certified specialists are committed to ensuring a successful procedure, safe recovery and positive outcome. Our team is passionate about helping patients understand their condition and find a solution that will ultimately improve their long-term health and wellness.

If you want to know more about our surgical heart services, please schedule an appointment with a specialist.

Cardiac procedures we perform

Before cardiovascular disease advances to a later stage, your doctor might recommend that you take preventive measures, including making diet and lifestyle changes or taking certain heart medications.

For patients with coronary artery disease in a more advanced stage, nonsurgical or surgical procedures might be necessary to restore blood flow to the arteries and prevent a heart attack or other type of cardiac event. These include:


An atherectomy is a procedure that removes plaque from a blood vessel. A laser atherectomy involves inserting a catheter that emits a high-energy light (laser) to vaporize blockages in the artery. While an angioplasty with a stent is a more common procedure, some patients may be candidates for this type of angioplasty with a laser rather than a stent.

Doctors may also use a mechanical atherectomy, in which plaque is shaved or cut out using a sharp blade.

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG)

Also known as heart bypass or bypass surgery, this operation is also used to treat a blocked or narrowed coronary artery and restore blood flow to the heart. Bypass surgery uses a heart-lung bypass machine, which pumps blood to the heart while it is stopped.

Bypass surgery may be recommended for patients who have a complete or almost-complete blockage of the artery for longer than a month.

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as an angioplasty with stent, is more of a non-surgical procedure that opens blocked arteries and restores blood flow to the heart. Rather than undergoing open-heart surgery, some patients with coronary artery disease may be candidates for PCI.

During an angioplasty procedure, doctors insert a catheter into a blood vessel and guide it to the blocked coronary artery. For this procedure, the catheter has a small balloon at its tip, which is inflated in the narrow part of the artery.

Today, the vast majority of PCI procedures use a coronary stent. Permanently implanted in the artery, the stent keeps the artery from narrowing or closing again.

Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC)

The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a small sac in the wall of the top left chamber of the heart. In patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of heart arrhythmia, blood can pool in this sac and cause blood clots, increasing the risk of stroke. More than 90 percent of stroke-causing clots are formed in the LAA.

We offer two minimally invasive procedures that are successful in treating AFib patients:

  • LAA closure device: Shaped like a parachute and about the size of a quarter, the device is placed using a minimally invasive procedure. The tissue grows around the device and permanently seals the LAA.
  • LAA suture loop: Doctors loop a lasso-shaped suture around the base of the LAA, permanently sealing it off from the heart.

Patent foramen ovale closure

Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is like an atrial septal defect except that PFOs can only occur after birth when the foramen ovale, a small hole in the heart of a fetus, doesn't close after birth. Most people with PFO do not have any symptoms. However, the condition could be tied to migraine headaches and increases the risk of stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA, often called a ministroke) and heart attack.

If surgery is recommended, doctors will insert a catheter through a small incision into a large vein and then move it up to the heart. They then insert the PFO closure device through the vein and into the heart to the exact location of the heart wall defect. The device straddles each side of the hole and remains permanently in the heart. This stops the abnormal blood flow between the two atrial chambers of the heart.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

More than one million Americans have aortic stenosis, a narrowing in the aortic valve opening. Some people with aortic stenosis don't have serious symptoms. But if you start feeling symptoms, you may need TAVR to replace the valve that is causing the problem.

During the minimally invasive procedure, our interventional cardiologist inserts a catheter through a small incision. They guide the tube to the damaged aortic valve, where a new valve is placed. The new valve allows blood to flow freely, which relieves symptoms and allows the patient to return to prior levels of activity.

Transcatheter mitral valve repair

Millions of Americans have some form of mitral valve disease. The mitral valve is an important valve in the heart that connects the left atrium to the left ventricle. When it becomes narrow or leaks backward, it can cause heart failure or heart rhythm problems.

Surgery is often necessary to treat mitral valve disease, even if you are not experiencing symptoms. Our expert cardiologists are providing an advanced treatment called transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVr).

This treatment is minimally invasive. Doctors perform the procedure through several tiny incisions instead of one larger incision. They use an implant to clip the mitral valve, helping it close more completely and restoring normal blood flow to the heart.

Other cardiac procedures we perform

Our cardiac surgeons offer a wide range of procedures, including:

  • Aortic valve repair and replacement
  • Atrial fibrillation convergent procedure
  • Atrial fibrillation surgical cryoMaze procedure
  • Cardiac re-operations
  • Complex aortic arch surgery
  • Multiple arterial grafting
  • Off-pump coronary bypass surgery
  • Thoracic aortic endograft (TEVAR)
  • Thoracic aneurysm repair
  • Tricuspid valve repair and replacement
  • Valve sparing aortic root replacement

Pediatric heart surgery in Denver

Rocky Mountain Pediatric Heart Surgery

When your child has a congenital heart condition, the experienced pediatric heart surgeons within Rocky Mountain Pediatric Specialists, our partner network dedicated to children's medical care in Denver, can help. Our pediatric cardiac surgeons cater to the specific health needs of kids and offer compassionate cardiac care based on medical best practices. Treatment for children can be different than adult treatment, and our specialists always keep the unique needs of your child in mind.