Minimally Invasive

Heart Valve Surgery

Our surgeons use advanced endoscopic technology to perform an ever-growing number of heart surgeries with minimally invasive techniques. 

Heart Valve consultationIn minimally invasive surgery, the heart is accessed through small incisions in the right chest wall.  Specially designed instruments are used to perform the operation. 

Minimally invasive heart surgery is an option for patients who have a low risk of complications and whose blockages can be bypassed through a smaller incision. Advantages of the minimally invasive approach include:

  • Reduced pain and recovery time
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Less blood loss
  • Smaller, less noticeable scarring
  • Shorter hospital stay

One of the major advantages of this approach is that the surgeon does not need to split the patient’s breastbone to access the heart. This reduces pain and recovery time for most patients, enabling them to resume normal daily activities sooner.  Besides reducing trauma for the patient, minimally invasive surgery also provides the surgeon a better view of some parts of the heart anatomy than was possible with traditional open heart surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery can be used to treat congenital (present at birth) heart problems and issues that have developed later in life.

Questions and Answers

1. What types of problems are treated?
Minimally invasive surgical procedures that our surgeons currently perform include:

  • Aortic valve surgery
  • Mitral valve surgery
  • Tricuspid valve surgery
  • Atrial septal defect closure, including patent foramen ovale
  • Atrioventricular canal defect (also called atrioventricular septal defect) surgery
  • Atrial fibrillation surgery (also called the Maze procedure)
  • Off-pump (without a cardiopulmonary bypass machine) coronary artery bypass surgery (also called minimally invasive direct coronary bypass
  • Saphenous vein harvest for coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Most lung and heart surgeries

2. Who is a candidate for minimally invasive heart surgery?
Your cardiothoracic surgeon will review the results of your diagnostic tests to determine whether you are a candidate for the minimally invasive approach. Conditions that may exclude a patient from minimally invasive heart surgery include:

  • Severe valve damage
  • Clogged arteries (atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries)
  • Obesity

3. What are the risks associated with less invasive surgeries?
All major surgeries have the potential for complications. Only your doctor can determine your risk factors and help you weigh the risks and benefits of a given procedure.

4. Why choose Boulder Community Hospital?
BCH is the only hospital in Boulder County that offers open heart surgery.  Our experienced open heart team includes highly trained nurses and technicians.  Our specially trained surgeons are associated with Colorado Cardiovascular Surgical Associates:

Colorado Cardiovascular Surgical Associates
BCH Medical Pavilion
1155 Alpine Avenue, Suite 190
Boulder, CO 80301


Our Medical Staff


Randolph Kessler, MDRandolph Kessler, M.D.
Dr. Kessler has expertise in minimally invasive heart and lung surgery, plus aortic and mitral value repair. He graduated with honors from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1983. He then completed five years of general surgery training at the University of Utah and a two-year cardiac surgical fellowship at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Kessler was Assistant Professor of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of New Mexico for five years prior to joining Colorado Cardiovascular Surgical Associates (CCVSA) in 1995.

When not taking care of patients, Dr. Kessler spends most of his time with his family – wife Dawn and son David – often on a bicycle or skis.

Dr. Kessler is the primary heart surgeon serving Boulder Community Hospital. He is supported by fellow CCVSA heart surgeons Dr. Myles Guber and Dr. Bradley Hofer.

Myles Guber, MDMyles Guber, M.D.
Dr. Myles Guber has extensive experience in complex mitral valve repair surgery and has performed “small incision” mitral and aortic valve surgery for many years. His broad experience encompasses all aspects of adult cardiac and thoracic surgery.

Dr. Guber received his medical degree from Northwestern University. He trained in general surgery at Louisiana State University and completed his cardiac surgical training at University of Southern California, Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.

Bradley Hofer, MDBradley Hofer, M.D.
Dr. Hofer has special interest, training and teaching experience in minimally invasive, beating heart, off pump, percutaneous, small incision and port access cardiac and thoracic surgery. His publications and presentations include discussions and techniques concerning complex aortic and mitral valve repair, bloodless cardiac surgery, off pump coronary artery bypass, electrophysiology, pacemakers, defibrillators, aortic aneurysm and dissection, lung disease and cancer, and esophageal disease.

Dr. Hofer received his medical degree from Northwestern University. His residency and fellowship training include general surgery at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, an esophageal and thoracic fellowship in the United Kingdom, and cardiac and thoracic surgery at Louisiana State University and the University of Washington.

After completing training in 1990, he remained at the University of Washington Medical Center teaching cardiac and thoracic surgery until 2000, when he joined CCVSA. Dr. Hofer enjoys boating, skiing and biking, as well as traveling.

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