At The Medical Center of Aurora, our board-certified cardiac specialists provide a personalized, multi-disciplinary approach to treating heart conditions.

The Medical Center of Aurora surgical team performs more than 450 heart surgeries every year and has some of the lowest complication rates in the state of Colorado.

Conditions That May Require Heart Surgery

There are a number of heart conditions that may need to be treated with heart surgery, including:

Heart Surgery Procedures

At The Medical Center of Aurora, our expert-level heart surgeons offer quality care and treatment options for a wide array of heart conditions. We provide patients with a number of minimally-invasive surgical procedures that utilize the latest technology to reduce the risk of complications. Surgical procedures for heart conditions performed at The Medical Center of Aurora are not limited to, but include:

  • Peripheral stenting
  • Endovascular repair
  • Valve repair/replacement
  • Vascular surgery, including stenting

Innovative and Medically-Advanced Therapies for Heart Disease

In addition to performing more routine heart surgeries, patients at The Medical Center of Aurora have access to new and innovative therapies to treat heart disease. Our heart surgeons are skilled in performing high-risk cardiac surgeries and doing everything we can to improve patient outcomes. New and advanced surgical procedures to treat heart conditions available at The Medical Center of Aurora include:

  • Impella — Impella is the world’s smallest mechanical cardiovascular support system. The Impella system is a type of LVAD (left ventricular assist device), which sustains a person’s weak heart by pumping oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. This minimally-invasive procedure uses a small catheter to insert the device into the heart.
  • LVAD — Inserted into the left ventricle of the heart, the LVAD device is used as a bridge-to-transplant (for patients waiting for a heart transplant), or as destination therapy, which provides long-term heart support for patients who are not candidates for heart transplant.
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) — CABG is the most common type of open-heart surgery in the U.S. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), CABG improves or completely relieves symptoms of angina in most patients. Many patients remain symptom-free for up to 10 to 15 years and CABG may also lower one’s risk of heart attack.
  • PFO Closure — Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) refers to a hole in the wall of tissue between the upper left and right chambers of the heart. A PFO closure is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses a catheter to insert a special device to close the hole in the heart and stop abnormal blood flow. Compared to open-heart surgery, a PFO closure procedure does not require extensive cardiac rehabilitation.
  • ECMO for Heart Disease — The ECMO machine is used when the heart cannot pump enough blood to the body. In the instance of a patient suffering from heart failure, the ECMO pump can be life-saving, giving physicians valuable time to assess the patient, treat the underlying disease and make arrangements for heart transplant.

Specialized Care for Heart Conditions

At The Medical Center of Aurora, cardiac specialists are dedicated to providing patients with multiple treatment options and focusing on early intervention, individualized care and long-term heart health. Dr. Michael Firstenberg, chair of Cardiothoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at The Medical Center of Aurora, says that one of the goals of treating heart disease is to avoid the need for surgery.

“Just because you visit a heart surgeon doesn’t mean that you’re going to get an operation,” says Dr. Firstenberg. “In some cases, you don’t necessarily need surgery, but [seeing a heart surgeon] is part of our comprehensive approach to treatment.”

Cardiac specialists at The Medical Center of Aurora are also skilled and trained to treat high-risk patients who need heart surgery. Our Heart Valve team treats patients with complex structural heart disease and designs the optimal treatment program for these cases.

“As a group, we present all of these cases and try to work out what the best plan is for the patient,” says Dr. Firstenberg. “With a team approach, we structure it in a way for every [patient’s] best interest.”

A Trusted Leader in Heart Surgery

Patients at The Medical Center of Aurora receive a high level of care from a team of heart surgeons and cardiac specialists, all of whom utilize a research-focused approach for the care and treatment of both common and complex heart conditions. By implementing the latest technology and newest advancements in surgical techniques, our heart doctors are focused on saving lives and improving the health of each and every patient.